The Springboks will peak at the right time and are well placed to defend their World Cup title, said head of athletic performance Andy Edwards.
In the SuperSport series Inside the Boks, Rassie Erasmus said during a meeting with the players that the Springboks are much better prepared for the upcoming World Cup than they were in 2019, something Edwards agrees with.
“We are now more aligned as a group, and I definitely agree with Rassie that it’s going to hold us in good stead,” Edwards told TimesLive.
Edwards said that going through the experiences of a bio-bubbled series against the British & Irish Lions, after very few games to prepare for the Tests, as well as a long away leg of the 2021 Rugby Championship in Australia, have only galvanised the Springboks.
“We have overcome all those challenges as a collective and I believe it should make us more settled going into big tournaments.”
While bookmakers have only made South Africa fourth favourites to win in France, Edwards says the players are still very aware of the target that will be on their backs as defending champions.
“You have got Ireland who are the reigning Grand Slam champions and are ranked No. 1 in the world. Everyone is also talking about France in France and weirdly New Zealand are seen by some as the underdogs,” said Edwards.
“As the Springboks, we are comfortable with where we are at and can take confidence from being settled as a group. Not settled in a comfortable way but to keep pushing.
“It’s a healthy group that continues to show they can operate at the highest level and keep performing on the international stage.”
Photo: Twitter: @Springboks