Can the Springboks win the 2023 Rugby World Cup? The main contenders to lift the trophy

Can the Springboks win the 2023 Rugby World Cup? The main contenders to lift the trophy

We take a look at our tournament favourites for the Rugby World Cup kicking off in France on September 10. And just where about do the Springboks feature?

Due to the impressive form of so many teams in the build-up to this year’s tournament, this is definitely one of the most difficult Rugby World Cups yet to pick a winner. Picking the most likely contenders, however, isn’t quite as tough to call.

The Springboks

Many would have and still would choose the All Blacks as favourites, as they are for virtually every Rugby World Cup they’ve played in, but the Springboks' record-breaking win over their old foe has given the reigning champions the edge in some people’s eyes.

The Boks have been boosted by the return of influential captain Siya Kolisi just in time, while they are coming off the back of a record-win over Wales to go with that historic victory over New Zealand. They seem to be hitting their straps right in time to mount a very serious challenge of their title indeed.

New Zealand

Although they were humiliated at Twickenham by the Boks, the All Blacks will always be many's favourite. The air of invincibility and fear factor may appear to have dissipated, but it feels like this New Zealand side is just one win away from regaining that boundless confidence and composure that has characterised them for so many years.

Any doubters should cast their minds back to July’s clash between the Boks and the Kiwis at Mount Smart Stadium, when a full-strength All Blacks side left the Boks shell-shocked in the opening 20 minutes before going on to record a 15-point win.


France are hosts and the number two-ranked side in the world who play a brand of running rugby to be admired combined with grit up front. They have suffered a few injuries in the build-up to the tournament and were also beaten by the Scots at Murrayfield, but their 41-17 win over the Wallabies in their final World Cup warm-up suggest they will be a force to be reckoned with on home soil.


Ireland, meanwhile, appear to have the best chance they’ve ever had to lift the William Webb Ellis trophy in their long history. Holders of the Six Nations and deservedly ranked number one in the world, this Irish side has probably the most cohesive team with the best balance between backs and forwards. However, there is the question mark hovering over just how ready their talismanic flyhalf and captain Johnny Sexton be, as he looks to return to the side after nearly six months away due to a combination of injury and suspensions.


Scotland are definite semifinal contenders but face a tough group to get out including the Boks and Ireland. Gregor Townsend has been at the helm for a long enough time and with great enough effect to make this the most consistent and successful Scottish side in history, and recent results underline that fact. How much of a miss will Stuart Hogg be after his shock retirement though?


There is a real toughness about Argentina in the tight five with plenty of pace and flair in the backline with much hedging on talented young flyhalf Santiago Carreras and just how quickly he settles in on the world's biggest stage.

Once the whipping boys of southern hemisphere rugby, Los Pumas have become a major problem for any international side to deal with. That was never more evident than in Christchurch last year when they secured a historic first victory on New Zealand soil.


Australia are at a low point and coming off the back of a mighty thumping at the hands of France in their final warmup fixture and Eddie Jones has lost the opening five games on the bounce in his second stint as Wallabies coach. Meanwhile, he is not necessarily endearing himself to the media, having already had one meltdown in front of journalists at Sydney international airport.

If the Wallabies are to clinch this year’s World Cup, it would be one of the most impressive comeback stories of all time.

How the bookies see it

Favourites: All Blacks - 28/10

Second: South Africa and France - 33/10

Fourth: Ireland - 9/2

Fifth: Australia - 12/1

Sixth: England - 14/1

Seventh: Argentina - 28/1

Eighth: Scotland and Wales - 45/1

READ MORE: Springboks receive warm Rugby World Cup welcome in Toulon