Springboks Rugby World Cup

Eben Etzebeth with the Webb Ellis Cup. Photo by Behrouz Mehri/AFP

100 days to 2023 Rugby World Cup: Springboks to ‘hand over’ trophy

The Springboks are set to officially hand over the Webb Ellis Cup to Rugby World Cup hosts France as the 100-day countdown begins.

Springboks Rugby World Cup

Eben Etzebeth with the Webb Ellis Cup. Photo by Behrouz Mehri/AFP

Celebrations are taking place throughout France this week to mark the 100-day countdown to the start of Rugby World Cup 2023.

World Rugby has confirmed that the Webb Ellis Cup will arrive France on an Emirates A380 as champions South Africa pass the iconic trophy to hosts France, a symbol that the countdown is truly underway, with attention then turning to activities across the 10 host cities, culminating in a spectacular light show set to transform the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. 

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World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said: “With 100 days to go, we are confident that Rugby World Cup 2023 is excellently placed to be the greatest celebration of rugby and togetherness, a fitting way to mark 200 years of rugby.”

The Springboks will be one of the World Cup favourites

The Springboks will begin their preparations for the Rugby Championship at a training camp in Pretoria from Monday 12 to Friday 30 June, with the team slotting into match mode the following week for their opening match against Australia at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, 8 July.

Nienaber’s charges will then depart for New Zealand for their second Test of the condensed version of the competition against the All Blacks at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland (15 July), before returning to South Africa for their closing match against Argentina in Johannesburg (29 July).

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The Springboks will play three Rugby World Cup warm-up matches: against Argentina in Buenos Aires (Saturday, 5 August), Wales in Cardiff (Saturday, 19 August) and New Zealand in London (Friday, 25 August) respectively.

They will then make their way to France for the international extravaganza where they face Scotland in Marseille (Sunday, 10 September), Romania in Bordeaux (Sunday, 17 September), Ireland in Paris (Saturday, 23 September) and Tonga in Marseille (Sunday, 1 October) during the pool stages.

South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber added: “The last four years have passed by at a rapid pace and it is almost surreal that we are 100 days out from Rugby World Cup 2023 in France. Given the meticulous planning by the organisers and the fantastic stadiums and facilities in the host cities, we believe it will be a memorable Rugby World Cup for the participating teams and fans attending the event. The competition among the top sides in the world is intense, and we know that we need to be at our best in each match to be in contention to defend the title.” 

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Rugby Championship

8 July: Springboks vs Australia (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)

✈ 15 July: South Africa vs New Zealand (Mount Smart, Auckland)

29 July: South Africa vs Argentina (Ellis Park, Johannesburg)

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World Cup warm-ups

✈ 5 August: South Africa vs Argentina (Vélez Stadium, Buenos Aires)

✈ 19 August: South Africa vs Wales (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)

✈ 25 August: Springboks vs New Zealand (Twickenham Stadium, London)

Rugby World Cup

✈ 10 September: South Africa vs Scotland (Stade Vélodrome, Marseille) 

✈ 17 September: Springboks vs Romania (Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux) 

✈ 23 September: South Africa vs Ireland (Stade de France, Saint-Denis, Paris) 

✈ 1 October: Springboks vs Tonga (Stade Vélodrome, Marseille)

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The Springboks are the defending World Cup champions - Springbok coach
The Springboks celebrate. Photo: SA Rugby website