Springboks, SA Rugby World Cup 2023 Final investment

The Springboks celebrate winning the World Cup. Photo: EPA/YOAN VALAT

Which Springboks are likely to retire before 2027 World Cup?

The Springboks will need to find capable replacements for several players as they begin the next four-year World Cup cycle.

Springboks, SA Rugby World Cup 2023 Final investment

The Springboks celebrate winning the World Cup. Photo: EPA/YOAN VALAT

Between 2019 and 2023, the Springboks have won two World Cup titles, a British & Irish Lions series as well as one Rugby Championship crown.

It’s been an incredible four year spell that has cemented the Boks’ status as arguably the best ‘Cup’ team of all time.

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However, the next four-year cycle will undoubtedly see a changing of the guard to some extent as certain players are now heading into the twilight of their careers, with Duane Vermeulen having already announced his retirement.

When taking a look at the World Cup winning squad from 2023, there are seven players who definitely won’t make it to another global showpiece: Makazole Mapimpi (age at the next World Cup: 37), Cobus Reinach 37, Willie le Roux 38 ,Trevor Nyakane 38, Vincent Koch (37), Deon Fourie 41, Duane Vermeulen (retired).

Taking a look at how old other players will also be at the next World Cup, it’s evident that the likes of Faf de Klerk, Damian de Allende, Jessse Kriel, Lukhanyo Am, Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Kwagga Smith may all be past their prime.

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How things could look for the Springboks between now and 2027:

Ages at 2027 RWC of current Springbok backs: 9: Faf de Klerk 35 / Jaden Hendrikse 27 / Grant Williams 31; 10: Handre Pollard 33 / Manie Libbok 30; 11: Cheslin Kolbe 33, 12: Damian de Allende 34 / Andre Esterhuizen 33; 13: Jessse Kriel 33 / Lukhanyo Am 33, Canan Moodie 23; 14: Kurt-Lee Arendse 31; 15: Damian Willemse 29

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Ages at 2027 RWC of current Springbok forwards: 1: Steven Kitshoff 35 / Ox Nche 32; 2: Bongi Mbonambi 36 / Malcolm Marx 33, 3: Frans Malherbe 36 / Vincent Koch 37, 4: Eben Etzebeth 35 / RG Snyman 32, 5: Franco Mostert 35 / Jean Kleyn 34 / Marvin Orie 34, 6: Siya Kolisi 36 / Marco van Staden 32, 7: Pieter-Steph du Toit 35 / 8: Jasper Wiese 31 / Kwagga Smith 34

It certainly makes for interesting reading, and does highlight how there will need to be a changing of the guard in the next couple of years.

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