The Rugby World Cup is now well underway and two of Africa’s finest sides are fighting for glory. But, do either South Africa or Namibia realistically have a chance of capturing the Webb Ellis Cup? We’ve analyzed the latest Rugby World Cup fixtures and results to see whether either team could realistically hope to bring the trophy back to African soil.
What are South Africa’s Prospects?
South Africa, the current holders of the Webb Ellis Cup, are coming into the 2023 edition of the tournament with a point to prove.
Although they entered the Rugby World Cup as third favorites behind both France and New Zealand, the Springboks fancy their chances and have embraced their status as underdogs (just as they did in 2019).
However, they’re in the so-called ‘pool of death’, Pool B. This means they still need to face Ireland and Tonga, who will both provide a stern test. Then, at the quarter-final stage, South Africa will likely face either New Zealand or France.
This means that, if South Africa are to win the Webb Ellis Cup for a fourth time, they’ll need to do it the hard way. That said, they have started the competition strongly. In fact, in their opening two games, they haven’t conceded a single try: they beat a spirited Scotland 18-3 and then easily dispatched Romania 76-0.
Their next big test will come when they take on Ireland, currently the number one side in the world, on Sat 23rd September. Whichever side wins this game will likely top the pool, which could prove to be a big advantage. Should South Africa claim victory over Ireland, the Springboks will fancy their chances of claiming World Cup glory once again.
What are Namibia’s Prospects?
Sadly, Namibia’s prospects of winning the Rugby World Cup aren’t as strong as South Africa’s. In fact, just winning a single game would constitute a major achievement. This is because Namibia have been drawn in Pool A, alongside France and New Zealand, who are the two favorites for the tournament.
Sadly, both of Namibia’s games so far have also ended in defeat. They were handily beaten by Italy 52-8 in their opening game and then they were ruthlessly dismantled by New Zealand 71-3. With games against France and Uruguay still to come, they have the opportunity to salvage some pride, but victory in either game would be seen as a shock result.
Do you think South Africa can go all the way once again? Or do you think Namibia can pull off an upset? Let us know below.