Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi believes the team is in a better space compared to 2019 ahead of the World Cup tournament in Japan.

Kolisi says the technical team is helpful and has worked hard to advance the team as they prepare to defend their title in France later this year.

The 2023 World Cup takes place in France from September 8 to October 28 and the defending champions play their opening match against fifth-ranked Scotland in Marseille on September 10.  

A year before Kolisi lifted the title in Japan, South Africa had the director of rugby Rassie Erasmus taking over the coaching reins from Allister Coetzee, who was sacked in February 2018.  

Since then they have had a stable build-up under head coach Jacques Nienaber, who took over from Erasmus after the 2019 World Cup and has worked closely with the director of rugby.  

“I think so, yeah. Our coaching staff are always helpful in letting us know where we are or if we are falling behind, or where they want you to go,” Kolisi said.

“They are available at all times with feedback. They are always there to say this is not good enough or this is good enough. 

“Even though you’re doing everything for your club, they still reach out to ask, ‘Is this good enough?’, because they are looking at international level and not club level.

“We just had a few alignment camps and what I love about those is knowing where we are now. [The coaches] have watched the progress in what we do and where we need to be. We measure ourselves against ourselves, but also against the best in the world.  

“But I think we still have a lot to do as a team. The most important thing is for us as players is to work on getting into the team because nobody is guaranteed a place.  

“We don’t know what that side is going to look like. What is important now is for me not to play like I played last week. I have to be better this weekend and show I really want to get into that team.

“It’s important that when we play for our unions, we look the part and play the part.” 

As he hopes to become the first skipper to guide the team to defending the title, the Cell C Sharks star said the Boks will have to beat the best in the world to retain the trophy.

“It’s always going to be a challenge. At the end of the day, you have to play the best to win the World Cup — it doesn’t matter what you do. I think it’s a positive if you can come out of a group [like that] and also through the quarterfinals.”  

Before the global showpiece, the Springboks will be involved in the Rugby Championship from July 8, where they will be tested by New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina.  

Among other opponents, Boks will meet Wales, the All Blacks, and Argentina in their World Cup warm-ups in August.  

Main Image: Siya Kolisi/SkySports
The post Siya Kolisi rates current Boks squad ahead of World Cup tourney appeared first on Entertainment SA – South African Entertainment News, Celebrity and Lifestyle Online Magazine & Entertainment.