Players to watch when Boks, All Blacks lock horns in final

The highly anticipated 2023 Rugby World Cup final is edging closer as the battle for the historic record four-time world cup crown will be highly contested for by New Zealand and the defending champions South Africa.

The Springboks and their greatest rivals in world rugby All Blacks will lock horns in what will be a dream world cup final at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday.

It goes without saying that the Boks’ road to the final was not as smooth and probably the most difficult between the two finalists.

They were draw in the pool of death and pitted against some of the best teams in the world in number-one ranked Ireland, an exciting Scotland side, and Tonga.

It did not end there … they were met by a colossal battle against second-ranked team and host nation France in the quarter-final.

Their semi-final match was equally tough, as they faced off with their 2019 World Cup finalists England, whom they also edged past by fine margins, winning the game 16-15.

Ahead of the epic battle against the New Zealanders, coach Jacques Nienaber and the entire South African nation will be relying on the Springboks to be on top of their game.

Here are some of the players that will prove to be crucial in steering the Boks all the way to lifting the Webb Ellis trophy once more:

Handre Pollard (Flyhalf)

Pollard practically won the Springboks the game against England with his 78th-minute penalty conversion. His kicking prowess will come in handy for the Boks.

Ox Nche (Prop)

The Ox was instrumental in the late scrum surge and winning a penalty that was converted by Pollard, which justly made him a match winner. Nche has enough in his tank to replicate his previous performance.

Eben Etzebeth (Lock)

With the Boks required to have all hands on deck against All Blacks, Etzebeth will have to come to the party and display a solid performance. South Africa will need his power and vigour more than they ever did, as a lot will be at stake.

Kwagga Smith (Flanker)

The Boks will be going up against a well-oiled All Blacks machine and there is no other player that you can rely on to break down their fast and fluid play than Kwagga Smith, who has the second most breakdown steals in the tournament so far.

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