- Title: Springboks will need bounce of the ball to lift World Cup
- Date: 28th August 2019
- Summary: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (AUGUST 26, 2019) (REUTERS) SA RUGBY DIRECTOR OF RUGBY, RASSIE ERASMUS, JOINING HIS TEAM ON STAGE DURING THE SPRINGBOKS WORLD CUP SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT AND TAKING A SEAT NEXT TO SPRINGBOKS CAPTAIN, SIYA KOLISI (LEFT), AND SPRINGBOKS NUMBER EIGHT, DUANE VERMEULEN (RIGHT) SPRINGBOKS WORLD CUP TEAM ON STAGE DURING THEIR PHOTOCALL FANS DURING THE SPRINGBOKS WORLD CUP SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (AUGUST 27, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) SA RUGBY DIRECTOR OF RUGBY, RASSIE ERASMUS, SAYING: "We want to train really well and play really well. And I think if we're lucky and we don't get lots of injuries, we should really go deep in this tournament. I think we should get close to play-off matches and then you know... it's a referee decision or a bounce of a ball or a missed tackle, nobody can predict what can happen in a semi-final or final. But we do have the talent, we've worked really hard, we've prepared really hard, we've got the support. You know I think the media are really... we can't say the media are being negative at this stage. I would hope to get deep and the bounce of the ball will go our way and hopefully come back with the cup." JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (AUGUST 26, 2019) (REUTERS) KOLISI JOINING HIS TEAM ON STAGE DURING THE SPRINGBOKS WORLD CUP SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT AND TAKING A NEXT TO FLANKER, FRANCOIS LOUW (LEFT), WITH VERMEULEN ON HIS RIGHT PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA (RECENT - AUGUST 16, 2019) (REUTERS) KOLISI CATCHING A RUGBY BALL THEN RUNNING TO A MARK AND BACK AGAIN DURING A SPRINGBOKS TRAINING SESSION JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (AUGUST 27, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) SA RUGBY DIRECTOR OF RUGBY, RASSIE ERASMUS, SPEAKING ABOUT SPRINGBOKS CAPTAIN, SIYA KOLISI, SAYING: "I think he's a wonderful captain on the field and off the field for the team but also off the field for the country. I think he's doing a wonderful job. I think in the beginning he struggled with that, I think that his game in the first, two, three, four test matches he played suffered a little bit because of that and maybe I, myself, didn't manage himself too well in that first stages because it was overwhelming for him but now I think he grew into that. And now again with his injury coming back, just the way he carries himself back into phasing himself you know, he's really maturing with that so yeah, what a great guy to have as your captain." PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA (AUGUST 16, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SPRINGBOKS PLAYERS DURING A TRAINING SESSION JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (AUGUST 27, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) SA RUGBY DIRECTOR OF RUGBY, RASSIE ERASMUS, SAYING: "If you go purely on world rankings, we're still hovering in between number four and five you know. So I think that tells a story in itself, obviously we're not favourites. But I think the gap between team one and five in the world has definitely shrunk, I think if you consistently look every weekend when national teams are playing against each other than New Zealand is number two, then Ireland is number one then Wales is number one then we are number four. So I definitely think if you just look at the world rankings that gap is so close, so I think we're in for a much better chance (of winning the World Cup) than 18 months ago. I wouldn't tag us as favourites but I think we have a much more realistic chance, I'll put it that way." PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA (AUGUST 16, 2019) (REUTERS) SPRINGBOKS PLAYERS DURING A TRAINING SESSION A SPRINGBOKS PLAYER THROWING A RUGBY BALL UP IN THE AIR THEN CATCHING IT IN FRONT OF A HUDDLE OF PLAYERS WITH LOFTUS VERSFELD STADIUM'S EASTERN STAND IN THE BACKGROUND
- Embargoed: 11th September 2019 17:37
- Keywords: Rassie Erasmus Siya Kolisi Springboks Rugby World Cup
- Location: JOHANNESBURG AND PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
- City: JOHANNESBURG AND PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Rugby Union,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA001AU4VWVZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: SA Rugby Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, believes fine margins including the odd referee decision, bounce of the ball or missed tackle will decide the Rugby World Cup in Japan in what he expects to be a tight tournament.
Erasmus told Reuters in an exclusive interview that the team's preparations, which included lifting the Rugby Championship trophy for the first time, have been perfect, and they can have no excuse for not performing in Japan.
He stressed they are not World Cup favourites, though is confident he has the right formula to win should the players play their part.
Erasmus expressed his delight at having captain Siya Kolisi available, after he missed most of the international season with a knee injury.
Kolisi, the first black Springboks test captain, is a vital component of the side on and off the pitch, according to Erasmus, who acknowledges the need to broaden the game's base in South Africa.
The Boks begin their quest for a third World Cup, after previous successes in 1995 and 2007, against defending champions New Zealand in Yokohama on September 21 and have been pooled with Italy, Namibia and Canada.
(Production: Stefan Haskins)
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