Springboks understand what is needed to win World Cup – Habana

Legendary Bryan Habana, the former Springboks winger, has added his voice on the debate about who is the “best in the world” between South Africa and Ireland.

The South African national rugby side is ranked number one in the world and the reigning world champions.

The Springboks proved that they are a force to be reckoned with in world rugby when they successfully defended their crown by winning the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Record four times

The victory also meant that the Boks have went on to lift the prestigious Webb Ellis trophy for a record four times.

Despite not coming close to winning the World Cup, the Irish have somewhat been regarded as the best team ahead of the Boks by former players and pundits worldwide.

“Subjectivity is the biggest thing when you look at things, and I think Ireland have only lost three games in the last 36, which is a phenomenal win-ratio,” Habana said.

“Any team in the world would love to have that … even New Zealand could not do that in the last four-year cycle.

“Now, would we be even more happier if South Africa had only lost three games in the last 36? I reckon we would, and the brand of rugby that Ireland was playing was extremely exciting.

“So, yes, the debate is subjective, but they did not play winning rugby in the World Cup … they came unstuck against New Zealand and unfortunately, we walked away with the World Cup trophy [by beating New Zealand in the final].

“They can say what they want about being the best team in the world, but that trophy will be sitting in South Arica for the next three-and-a-half years, which I am looking forward to.”

Winning brand of rugby

Regarding the brand of rugby that the Boks play being viewed as boring, the world rugby champion said the difference between the two sides’ style of rugby is that the Boks play a winning brand of rugby.

“Yes, Ireland have laid the benchmark in terms of the brand of rugby that I think everyone loves,” he added.

“And globally, people sometimes look at the Springboks and aren’t overly excited about the brand of rugby we play.

“But we play a winning brand of rugby, which I think is very important to me. Our team has been able to get into the position of understanding what is needed to win the World Cup.

“And you can’t deny the fact that the last two, especially the recent one, has been the toughest route ever to win the World Cup and the manner in which we did was absolutely fantastic.”

The Springboks will face Ireland in a highly anticipated two-Test series at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria and Kings Park Stadium in Durban in July.

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