Fitzpatrick: Springboks unlikely RWC 2019 contenders

2018-02-26 10:55
Sean Fitzpatrick (Gallo Images)

Monaco - Former All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick believes the Springboks are unlikely to threaten the All Blacks at the 2019 World Cup in Japan. 

The 54-year-old, who was New Zealand's captain when they lost the 1995 World Cup final to South Africa at Ellis Park, was speaking at this year's Laureus World Sports Awards in Monaco. 

Never shy of a word, Fitzpatrick was open on his views on the current state of South African rugby. 

The Boks have had a disappointing two years under Allister Coetzee, winning just 11 of their 25 matches across that period. 

This year, though, they have a new man in charge in Rassie Erasmus, who will look to turn what has been a sinking ship around in 2018. 

Fitzpatrick, naturally, backs the All Blacks as favourites in 2019, and he believes that the major challenge to their title will come from the northern hemisphere.

"No disrespect to Australia and South Africa, but I think the major challenge to New Zealand in 2019 will come from the northern hemisphere," he said.

"Living in the northern hemisphere I see year in, year out and week in, week out how these players are changing their attitudes and how they're getting better."

Fitzpatrick pointed to this past weekend's Six Nations clash, where Scotland upset England, as an example of how the northern hemisphere was progressing.

"It's mind-blowing what they've (Scotland) done in the last few years," he said.

"I think the threats will definitely come from England, Ireland and even Scotland now."

That said, Fitzpatrick did hope to see the Boks improve and reach their best once again.

"I'm a fan of watching Test match rugby and you want it to be competitive," he said.

"As much as I want New Zealand to dominate, I don't think it's healthy for World Rugby to have one team dominating year in and year out.

"I want South Africa to be strong."

*Lloyd Burnard is in Monaco as a guest of Laureus ...

Read more on:    rwc 2019  |  springboks  |  sean fitzpatrick  |  rugby

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 03 November 2018
England v South Africa, Twickenham Stadium 17:00
Saturday, 10 November 2018
France v South Africa, Stade de France 18:00
France v South Africa, Stade de France 22:05
Saturday, 17 November 2018
Scotland v South Africa, BT Murrayfield Stadium 17:00
Scotland v South Africa, BT Murrayfield Stadium 19:20
Saturday, 24 November 2018
Wales v South Africa, Principality Stadium 17:00
Wales v South Africa, Principality Stadium 19:20
Saturday, 21 September 2019
New Zealand v South Africa, Yokohama International Stadium 11:45
Saturday, 28 September 2019
South Africa v Namibia, City of Toyota Stadium 11:45
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who is your Fans’ Choice nominee for the BrightRock Players Choice Awards this year?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.