Rassie: 2019 Rugby World Cup is wide open

2018-11-20 09:59
Rassie Erasmus
Rassie Erasmus (Getty)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus believes there will be several contenders at next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Erasmus addressed reporters in Cardiff on Monday as his team prepared for their final match of the year against Wales.

The Welsh are on an eighth-match win-streak and currently occupy third spot on the official World Rugby rankings.

The Boks are fifth but Erasmus believes there’s not much to choose between the top eight nations in the world.

"Where the World Cup is going to be played in Japan it's going to be warm and humid. It won't be a southern hemisphere team that benefits from it and I don't think a northern hemisphere team will really benefit from it.

"So the playing field is pretty level. I don't think you can put your hand up and say: 'This is the four teams that are going to be in the semi-finals'.

"It's just impossible currently because it's so close and it's one or two points in it. It's great for world rugby but not always for the coaches,” Erasmus said.

Erasmus acknowledged that the two top-ranked teams - New Zealand and Ireland - would be the favourites but predicted a close affair in Japan.

"We saw what happened with Ireland and New Zealand, and we managed to beat New Zealand in a close game.

"Scotland last year almost had New Zealand and England almost had New Zealand. I really think it's an open race although obviously the favourites are New Zealand and Ireland.

"Wales is one of those teams who is hovering there, almost a silent assassin at this stage, winning eight in a row.

"We are ranked fifth, which isn't great, but I think the difference between No 3 and six is much closer than it was maybe a year ago."

Erasmus will name his side on Thursday, with Saturday’s Test scheduled for 19:20 (SA time).

Read more on:    springboks  |  rassie erasmus  |  rugby


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Saturday, 04 July 2020
South Africa v Scotland, Cape Town 17:05
Saturday, 11 July 2020
South Africa v Scotland, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:05
Saturday, 18 July 2020
South Africa v Georgia, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium 17:05
Saturday, 08 August 2020
South Africa v Argentina, Emirates Airline Park 14:00
Saturday, 15 August 2020
Argentina v South Africa, Estadio Bicentenario 21:45
Saturday, 29 August 2020
Australia v South Africa, Optus Stadium 14:00

Debate rages! Who is the greatest ever Springbok hooker ... John Smit, Bismarck du Plessis or someone else perhaps?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 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.