3 reasons why the Springboks have the most dangerous attack at the 2023 Rugby World Cup

3 Reasons why the Springboks have the most dangerous attack at the 2023 Rugby World Cup
Why the Springboks have the most dangerous attack at the 2023 Rugby World Cup

The 2023 Rugby World Cup in France presents South Africa's Springboks with the unique opportunity to become world champions again.

We're four years removed from the Webb Ellis Cup returning to Africa for the first time in 12 years, when the Springboks magnificently trumped England in the 2019 World Cup final.

South Africa winning the previous iteration of rugby's biggest tournament marked a change in the landscape of international rugby, as New Zealand has somewhat lost its grip atop the summit of world rugby.

South Africans have a lot of factors to thank for their men returning to the top over the last few years. The most notable one is the coaching systems that have been implemented in the Springboks camp. One of the biggest fruits of this system has been the men in green and gold's vaunted attack.

Since the inception of coaches Rassie Erasmus and Swys de Bruin's highly efficient attacking approach in 2019, South Africa has seen great success on offence.

On that note, here are three reasons why new coach Jacques Nienaber's Springboks boast the most feared attack at the 2023 Rugby World Cup:


Why South Africa's Springboks have the most dangerous attack at 2023 Rugby World Cup

2023 Rugby World Cup
2023 Rugby World Cup

#3 Sheer domination up front

South Africa has some of the heaviest and strongest forwards at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The team's forward pack often outweighs their opponents at scrum time. While props Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe might not be the heaviest at their positions, the towering figures of locks Eben Etzebeth and Franco Mostert and flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit more than make up for any weight shortage.

Moreover, apart from their power domination up front, the Boks boast some of the most skilled forwards on the international stage. Hooker Malcolm Marx's nifty hands at the breakdown provide South Africa with plenty of ball possession.

With possession, the ball-handling skills of the entire forward pack combined make for a dangerous attacking threat. That's even before considering the Springboks' feared backline.


#2 A world-class playmaker at flyhalf

While threatening kicker Handre Pollard is out, due to injury, of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, shifty playmaker Manie Libbok will take the reins of Jacques Nienaber's backline.

Traditional backlines have historically been run by immobile flyhalves primarily tasked with directing the backline and kicking duties. These attacking schemes normally relied heavily on forward-pack domination, strong centres and fast wingers. However, the modern flyhalf has evolved to adopt the additional role of playmaker.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to introduce the idea to world rugby, with the likes of Beauden Barrett and Damian McKenzie in the 2010s, which saw them achieve great success. Nonetheless, the Boks have been catching on quickly in the last few years, with electric flyhalves like Manie Libbok and Damian Willemse.

With Libbok set to head the Springboks' backline with his quick feet and even quicker decision-making, South Africa is bound to deliver an exciting version of running rugby at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.


#1 Lightning-fast speedsters out wide

The cream of the Boks' captivating product of fast-paced running rugby are Kurt-Lee Arendse and Cheslin Kolbe, with the addition of Makazole Mapimpi.

The mix of speed and a low centre of gravity, blended into the tactics of Jacques Nienaber, makes for one of the most dangerous threats in international rugby.

That's what Kurt-Lee Arendse and Cheslin Kolbe bring to the men in green and gold. Makazole Mapimpi, meanwhile, being the taller wing, provides a proper finish to a lot of the Boks' attacks.

The combination of speed and power on the Springboks squad presents opposing countries with a unique challenge at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. With the tournament still ahead of us, it's going to be interesting to see how teams go about managing the attacking threat of the green and gold brigade.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann