Boks confident they are better prepared for Rugby World Cup than in 2019

Boks confident they are better prepared for Rugby World Cup than in 2019

In another ominous warning to their rivals, the Springboks insist they are in a "better position" going into Rugby World Cup 2023 than they were prior to the global showpiece four years ago.

The Boks are preparing to defend their title in France and feel they are even better prepared to mount a serious challenge this time around, despite coming out on top four years ago.

And results certainly back up that view, with South Africa coming off record wins against both Wales and the All Blacks.

The Springboks are set to wrap up their on-field preparations on the Mediterranean island of Corsica on Friday before making the journey to their RWC training base in Toulon on Saturday via ferry, and Stick said the team were on the right track to kick off their campaign against Scotland in Marseille next Sunday.

"The conditions have been challenging for the boys - the first day was very humid and hot, so it was good for the players," said Stick.

"This is similar to the conditioning week we had in Kagoshima in 2019, and the camp makes a lot of sense especially after playing against the All Blacks in London. It meant that we didn't have to travel back to South Africa.

"As coaches we could also push the buttons a little from the conditioning side, so it's been a great week for us to prepare for the World Cup."

Commenting on the difference between where the team is going into this RWC compared to the Japan tournament in 2019, Stick said: "I think we are in a better position now to where we were in 2019. Back then we only had 18 months to prepare, and we pulled off a miracle by winning the World Cup, and that was all through belief.

"If one looks at what we have invested in our squad and the depth we've managed to build going into this tournament, it's fantastic.

"That said, what we did in the past counts for nothing if we don't pitch up and perform week in and week out in the World Cup."

With the team's opening game only 10 days away, Stick said the squad was in a good space mentally and physically.

"The excitement is there, but at the same time it's one of the biggest tournaments in the world, so there are nerves as well," said Stick.

"But in terms of where we are now, we've grown as a team and we are getting tighter, especially after the defeat against the All Blacks in Auckland.

"We learned a lot more in that match that match than from the games we won. It certainly brought us closer together, and we feel we are moving in the right direction.

"That said we know it's going to be a tough tournament, but we'll do everything in our power to make the country proud."

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