England coach Eddie Jones has questioned whether the Springbok veterans will be able to sustain their excellent form until the 2023 World Cup.
Jones was recently interviewed on Brian Moore’s Full Contact podcast.
During the wide-ranging conversation, he spoke about his new book, explained his controversial opinions about Marcus Smith and Maro Itoje and was also asked for his views on the major contenders for the next World Cup in France.
Jones praised the way that the Six Nations teams – Scotland, France, Ireland and Italy in particular – had improved, while he spoke highly of New Zealand’s centralised system of producing players.
However, while he applauded the Springboks for beating the British & Irish Lions in the three-Test series in 2021, Jones suggested that the core of the squad would be past its best by the time the 2023 World Cup rolls around.
“Any team that wins a World Cup and a Lions series in the space of two years is a serious, serious team,” Jones said, “But if you look at their age profile, they are getting older. Whether those players can sustain for another two years to the World Cup is a question.
“You’ve got [Duane] Vermeulen who’s 35. He’ll be 37 going to the World Cup. You’ve got a few others in their 30s.”
While Jones is correct on Vermeulen, the majority of the current Bok squad will be between 25 and 32 years old in 2023.
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