Rassie Erasmus says all the players in the Springboks’ 31-man squad are capable of producing a big performance in a World Cup knockout match.
Of the 32 players who were in camp, flank Rynhardt Elstadt was the unlucky one to miss out on selection when Erasmus announced his official 31-man squad on Monday afternoon.
The Bok coach says the squad is based on what he felt would be the best combinations at the showpiece in Japan.
‘I am very happy with the squad we have been able to select,’ he said. ‘We have been developing this squad since the start of last season and in the 31 we have a good balance of established experience and some exciting youth.
‘We set out with the goal of growing the depth of the squad and I am confident that anyone in this 31-man group can step into a playoff match at the World Cup and deliver an outstanding performance.
‘We’ve been working towards this moment for the best part of two years and we’ve been lucky in achieving most of our goals this season,’ Erasmus added.
‘We’ve been able to give everyone in the squad some good game time as well as develop combinations with squad rotation and not lose momentum as we go to the World Cup.
‘But the results and performances up to now will mean nothing once we are in Japan. It is a case of back to square one; putting in the work on the training field and in the planning sessions to build on what we have achieved.’
‘We have planned and trained to be competitive at the Rugby World Cup and the work we have done and the performances to date this year have put us into a good space.
‘World Cups are usually decided by small margins – a foot in touch here or a referee’s call there – but we have a very good squad that has grown into a tight unit over the past few months and we have definitely grown stronger together.
‘I’m sure I speak for the squad when I say we can’t wait for the games to begin.’
Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images