Monday 23 July 2018

Boks 'in with a chance' of World Cup title - Erasmus

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Sportsfile
South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Sportsfile

Independent.ie newsdesk

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus is already looking to next year's World Cup in Japan after their series victory over England confirmed for him that his side are ready to launch a challenge.

"With the things that we have learnt, and getting players back like Damian Willemse and Eben (Etzebeth)… if we can get it all right then we are in with a chance," said Erasmus after England won the third Test to restore some pride after five successive losses.

"We have the talent, but we will have to manage our players. There are a lot of things we need to balance so that when we hit September next year we have a fresh, experienced team with a lot of confidence."

His England counterpart Eddie Jones was also singing the praises of Erasmus' team and a series which he hailed as a great advert for international rugby.

"For the health of Test rugby it was fantastic," he said. "You have a rejuvenated South African side that are well coached, have a good balance of players against a young England side looking to find their way."

The teams will lock horns again in Twickenham on November 3.

Scotland bounced back from their narrow loss to USA by demolishing Argentina 44-15 in Resistencia. Gregor Townsend was pleased with his inexperienced half-back duo, Adam Hastings and George Horne.

"That was a huge challenge for our guys on their second starts for Scotland but they played with so much positivity, they went for gaps, so that shows they were confident," he said. "It was really encouraging for the future.

"All our team were very set about playing today especially when we turned up and the crowd was already in place."

Elsewhere, France's Baptiste Serin remained positive despite another heavy defeat in the 3-0 series loss to New Zealand.

"Playing the best team in the world does give you experience," Serin said. "We are a young team and we played a good first half.

"We were thinking we might be able to get a victory here but it was too hard and we did learn a lot through this series."

Irish Independent

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