A year ago the Boks were rank outsiders, now all bets are off

Sport

A year ago the Boks were rank outsiders, now all bets are off

Although he has cast his selection net wide, Erasmus knows who should run out to face NZ on September 21

Journalist

It is rare for a coach of a top tier nation to walk out of a press conference with a broad smile on his face after his team had just lost 33-6.

Yet that was exactly Jake White’s facial expression after the All Blacks downed White’s Boks 33-6 in Christchurch in 2007. The Springboks, you see, had held the All Blacks in an arm wrestle for the overwhelming majority of the match sans the players considered a shoo-in for the World Cup later that year.

There was no John Smit, Victor Matfield, Fourie du Preez, Jaque Fourie, Schalk Burger, Bakkies Botha, Danie Rossouw, Frans Steyn, Butch James, Percy Montgomery, Bryan Habana, Juan Smith or Os du Randt. They would all play leading roles in Paris later that year...

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