Springboks All Blacks

All Blacks star Ardie Savea. Image: @SaffasRugby/X

‘It still stings a little’ All Blacks star on losing final to the Springboks

All Blacks flanker Ardie Savea says not winning the World Cup stings but says he is looking forward to playing the Springboks twice.

Springboks All Blacks

All Blacks star Ardie Savea. Image: @SaffasRugby/X

All Blacks flanker Ardie Savea has admitted he is still not over the Rugby World Cup final defeat to the Springboks last year.

The two biggest rugby nations collided in the final in Paris late 2023 with the Boks winning New Zealand 12-11.

Savea, one of the All Blacks’ key players, reflected on the pain of losing that famous final.

“It still stings a little bit not being able to win the World Cup,” he told the media.

“It’s something that I have had to process and I think of what we could have done better.

“Hopefully, I can use that to better myself and then obviously better myself in the future, wherever that takes me.”

The All Blacks and Springboks play each other twice this year, which Savea looks forward to.

He and his teammates will look to avenge last year’s defeat.

All Blacks and Springboks to play twice this year

“Playing two Tests in South Africa is like a highlight for a New Zealand player’s career, especially in front of those crowds.

“South Africa are world champions and that speaks for itself,” said Savea.

The Springboks and All Blacks are set to lock horns twice with the first meeting held on 31 August at Ellis Park.

Their second match will take place at the Cape Town Stadium on 7 September.

Like Savea, ex-All Blacks coach Ian Foster said the defeat to the Springboks kept him awake at night.

“I regret we didn’t get two more points and I wake up occasionally during the night and keep thinking how we could have done that.”

Foster insists NZ should have been awarded a late penalty, giving them a chance to win the game.

Springboks will play their first match since winning the RWC final in June against Wales.