by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – IT’S all systems go for the Rugby World Cup final to be played at the French capital Paris on Saturday evening.
Defending champions Springboks of South Africa will lock horns with long time rivals All Blacks of New Zealand in a match likely to go either way.
Interestingly, both teams have won a record three times of the rugby world cup trophy. Winners of Saturday’s duel will not only make history, but also walk away with a whopping £4.8 million (R110.1 million) with the runners-up pocketing a cheque for £2.5 million (R57.3 million).
The Springboks, which of late have been receiving support from across the continent, are tipped to bring the title back home (South Africa.
Even the Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, Chen Xiaodong, did not hide his support for the host country.
“As Chinese Ambassador to #SA (South Africa), I’m firmly behind the #Springboks as they go in search of a record-breaking fourth championship. May their passion, dedication & team spirit, qualities that resonate with the Chinese people, lead them to victory,” Xiaodong said.
South Africa Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Zizi Kodwa wished the Springboks success.
“The Bokke are ready for war! All the best as you prepare for the finals. Bring it back boys,” Kodwa said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa could not hide his joy when the Springboks beat England 16-15 in the semi-final to proceed to the Rugby World Cup final.
“Congratulations to our heroic Springboks on a hard-won Rugby World Cup 2023 semi-final at Stade de France, Paris. Now our nation can focus our hearts and flags on our second successive Rugby World Cup Final in as many tournaments. We are indeed stronger – and victorious – together,” Ramaphosa said.
Meanwhile, both teams have released their line-ups ahead of Saturday’s encounter. See full line-ups below:
Steven Kitshoff, Mbongeni Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Franco Mostert, Siya Kolisi (Capt), Pieter Steph Du Toit, Duane Vermuelen, Faf De Klerk, Handre Pollard, Cheslin Kolbe, Damian De Allende, Jesse Kriel, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Damian Willemse
Ethan De Groot, Codie Taylor, Tyrel Lomax, Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett, Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane (Capt), Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga, Mark Tele’a, Jordie Barrett, Rieko Ioan, Will Jordan, Beauden Barrett.
– CAJ News