Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi

Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi is regarded as being key to South Africa retaining their Rugby World Cup title. Image: Instagram @bokrugby

BOKS, TJOPS & DOPS: Road to Rugby World Cup 2023: No pressure, just pure passion

Springboks prepare for the Rugby World Cup, fuelled by pride and passion. Mbonambi comments on the upcoming season.

Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi

Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi is regarded as being key to South Africa retaining their Rugby World Cup title. Image: Instagram @bokrugby

As the 2023 international rugby season kicks off, the South African national rugby team, the Springboks, are getting ready to tackle Australia in their first match of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship on 8 July 2023 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.

This match is the first of six Test matches before their Springboks Rugby World Cup journey begins in France. As the defending champions, all eyes are on the Springboks, but this is a challenge they’re more than ready to face.

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Bongi Mbonambi, the Springbok hooker, recently opened up about the expectations facing the team this season. According to Mbonambi, the expectations aren’t seen as pressure but rather as a privilege and an honour.

He says: “South African rugby fans don’t just have expectations on us in a World Cup year, it’s the same for every game we play. We feel the expectations, but we don’t see it as pressure, we see it as an honour and a privilege.”

Embracing high expectations with honour and privilege

Nervousness and excitement are normal mates in the build-up to any major sporting event, but Mbonambi insists that the team is loving the challenge. “Of course, we feel nervous, but we are also excited. We love it and enjoy it.”

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Comparing the team’s Rugby World Cup preparations to the 2019 season, Mbonambi admits that things have changed. The team was a new formation in 2019, with fresh plans and a new coaching team. It took time for them to find their groove and align their strategies. (totheverge.com)

However, this season is different. With four years of working together, the team has a deeper understanding of each other and the coaches’ expectations. This familiarity has allowed them to align quicker and find their rhythm faster.

Preparations for the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup journey

“We can’t do what we did four years ago and expect the same result,” Mbonambi says, highlighting the team’s determination to work harder and innovate. The Springboks are putting their plans into action and using alignment camps to make sure everyone is on the same page.

This comprehensive approach to preparation shows the Springboks’ commitment to keeping their championship status and meeting the high expectations set by their fans.

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On the Springboks Rugby World Cup journey, the team views each step as a privilege and an honour. As they carry the hopes of their nation, they are committed to giving their best on the field, embracing the challenge, and making their country proud.

The road to the Rugby World Cup is underway, and the Springboks are ready to rise to the occasion.

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