Springbok's World Cup title defence preps began in 2022 - Kolbe

  • By Kate Nokwe

  • 23rd March 2023

Springbok's World Cup title defence preps began in 2022 - Kolbe

Springbok utility back Cheslin Kolbe claims preparations for the 2023 Rugby World Cup began in 2022, rather than when they had their first alignment camp in February.

With only 169 days until the start of the World Cup in France, South Africa gathered in the Western Cape to fine-tune critical areas for their title defence.

However, Kolbe claims that a lot more work has been done behind the scenes, with most of it having begun with last season's Rugby Championship and end-of-the-year tour.

"The last season had been preparations with things we could try out as a team leading up to the World Cup later this year, so there was a lot of travelling from management back and forth from France to South Africa, England, wherever we'll be playing," said Kolbe.

"Throughout this season there has been alignment camps held already to get the players aligned on what the plan is, what is expected, and where each player should be up to standard with what's expected from them, fitness levels, etc.

"Because we play so much rugby at our clubs, we need to make sure we get managed as well and not get burnt out when it does come to the international period."

Kolbe rejoined the Bok camp for the end-of-year tour after suffering a broken jaw against Wales in July last year, which forced him out of the Rugby Championship.

He admits being away from the team was difficult, but he feels he came out stronger.

"Honestly, I'm just happy to be injury free again and back on the field week-in and week-out. It's been frustrating for me, last season was challenging, but I believe it's shaped me and made me a stronger person today.

"I think with the difficulties I had to face, there's a lot of doubt and a lot of questions asked, obviously, on my form and all of that, but I'm happy with where I am and the way I've been going, and I believe I can just get better and stronger the more I get to play."