Springbok camp energy for 2023 World Cup differs from 2019 - Lukhanyo Am

  • By Kate Nokwe

  • 17th July 2023

Springbok camp energy for 2023 World Cup differs from 2019 - Lukhanyo Am

Springboks centre Lukhanyo Am admits there is a different energy in the camp ahead of the 2023 World Cup compared to four years ago.

South Africa endured one of the worst tenures under then-coach Allister Coetzee between 2016 and 2018, which resulted in the Boks not being considered a top contender for the 2019 Webb Ellis Cup.  

With only a handful of retirees from the 2019 squad, Am believes they are still as hungry, but a different approach is being taken for France 2023.

"2019, at the time, we were a fairly new team and we were building towards the World Cup, and I think fast forward to now, the majority of the guys are still together, and we've gained experience over the years, so it's definitely a different type of feel compared to 2019," said Am.

The Boks not only put their critics to shame in Japan 2019, but topped that title a year later with the British and Irish Lions series, and Am says they have never doubted their capabilities.

"At the time, even though the rest of the world didn't believe in us, as a team we were really strong and confident of going all the way," he added.

"I think over the years, we've won a couple of people [over] to support and be behind us, but as a group we are just as confident and now we've got more experience, and we know what we can achieve as a team.

"Also, what we have achieved gives us a bit more confidence going into big competitions, but at the back of our heads, we know the reality and we know where we need to be in order for us to be one of the [World Cup] contenders."