The Springboks will begin their World Cup title defence against Scotland on 10 September 2023 after the match schedule was announced on Friday.
During the pool allocation draw in December last year, South Africa were drawn alongside Ireland, Scotland, Asia/Pacific 1 and Europe 2 for the 2023 World Cup in France.
Following South Africa’s opening encounter against the Scots in Marseille, they will take on Europe 2 on Sunday, 17 September in Bordeaux, followed by a crucial match-up against Ireland in Saint-Denis on 23 September before concluding the pool stage with a game against Asia/Pacific 1 in Marseille on 1 October.
The Boks have twice been in the same pool as Scotland, in 1999 and 2015. Since their first RWC participation in 1995, the Springboks have played 43 RWC games, winning 36 and losing seven. That winning tally, including three RWC final triumphs, give the Springboks an impressive win percentage of 83.72%.
The Springboks have never been drawn in a RWC pool with Ireland and will be defending a proud history as they have only lost three pool matches in seven tournaments – against England (2003), Japan (2015) and New Zealand (2019).
In 2019, the Boks were in Pool B with New Zealand, Italy, Namibia and Canada. They lost their opening game against the All Blacks, but easily beat the other teams in the pool before advancing to the knockout stage of the tournament, where they inflicted defeat on Japan (quarter-final), Wales (semi-final) and England (final) to become the first-ever side lift the World Cup despite tasting defeat in the group stage of the competition.
The 2023 RWC showpiece starts on Friday, 8 September with a massive match between hosts France and the All Blacks, while the final is scheduled for Saturday, 28 October 2023 in the French capital of Paris.
Photo: Franck Robichon/EPA