‘I would definitely not start Ox Nche’ – Ex-Springboks on World Cup Final selection

Former Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok hookers John Smit and Schalk Brits believe that Ox Nche should not start the final against the All Blacks.


Nche produced standout performances in the quarter-final and semi-final, particularly with his work in the scrums.

Ox Nche on the bench

The Bok loosehead has received high accolades for his performance against England in the closing minutes of the game, but despite his valor, neither Smit nor the British coaches would start the prop ahead of Steven Kitshoff.

“We also have to think it’s what a part of the plan,” 2007 World Cup winning captain Smit stated on World Rugby’s “Boks Office” podcast. “I know everyone will want to see Ox in there [the starting lineup].”

“Ox plays against a guy who has played for fifty minutes in his first couple of scrums, and then he gets the second-choice tighthead that comes on.”

“I would definitely not start Ox; the impact he brings on from a running, scrumming and mauling perspective is great,” said Schalk Brits, a fellow former Springbok hooker.

However, Brits did have a change in mind from the team that defeated England in the last four, with Handre

Manie Libbok is replaced in the starting XV by Pollard.

Libbok began the match against England, but in the last ten minutes of the first half, Pollard entered the game and helped the Boks win 16–15 by kicking two penalties and converting one.

The defending champions won’t want to chase the scoreboard against South Africa, according to the British, and Pollard starting would assist to ensure that.

He clarified, “I’d start with Handre to create scoreboard pressure—this might be controversial.” “After that, I’ll bring in the incredible Manie, who can either shut or open a game.

5-3, 6-2 or 7-1 split?

According to Smit, if Pollard starts, the Boks can switch back to a 6-2 split, favoring the forwards on the bench, after going with a more traditional 5-3 split in the quarter and semifinal.

It also permits us to go 6-2 split if Manie is on the bench, but if you do that, Willie [Le Roux] gets sacrificed, and I do believe we need to go 6-2, added Smit.

When South Africa and New Zealand faced off at Twickenham prior to the Rugby World Cup, the Springboks easily defeated their opponents, winning 35-7.

Due to a last-minute roster change that day, the Springboks chose to start seven players on the bench, giving the forwards more time to play. They repeated this strategy against Ireland in the pool stage encounter.

Hanyani Shimange, a fellow former Bok hooker, questioned Smit and Brits about the likelihood that Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus would employ the same strategy with Brits, stating that it would be “brave.”

Smit jokingly remarked, “It’s time for 8-0, let’s get rid of these backs.”

However, he went on, “I think it’s time for 6-2, especially with the weather that’s going to be messy.” 


Bookies on the fence ahead of the Springboks vs All Blacks Rugby World Cup final


The sportsbooks can’t make up their minds about who they think will win the Rugby World Cup final.

Sportsbooks are undecided as to who they believe will prevail in the Rugby World Cup final.The odds for either the Springboks or the All Blacks to win the Rugby World Cup are 0.92 at Hollywood Bets.


According to a study of punditry, the All Blacks are being supported by the neutrals and a few South African voices.

Springboks’ hair Jean Kleyn and Marvin Orie have both commented on the competition.

Everyone in the world is aware of New Zealand’s reputation for bravery and deft play, according to Orie.

“They kicked off that match in Auckland with a lot of passion, and we applied what we learned from that to the game in London, which fortunately ended in our favor.

“We are hoping for the same outcome this weekend, but we also know it will be a close game because it is the Rugby World Cup final.”


 Kleyn insisted that the Springboks are ready to face the Haka.

“It’s a fantastic tradition, and for us it’s part of playing a match against the All Blacks,” said Kleyn.

“I faced the haka for the first time in our match against them at Twickenham. We honored it as a team since it was a wonderful experience. We’ll line up against it on Saturday as usual and concentrate on the game.

In an attempt to duplicate their victory over the All Blacks at Twickenham, the Springboks aim to get off to another quick start.

“We can’t always control the ball’s bounce, so it’s difficult to guarantee a quick start, but we can control how we start—we should play hard and prepare well throughout the week,” Orie remarked.

“Hopefully, our extensive research on New Zealand—which included both our Rugby Championship match and the match at Twickenham—will help us make sure that we can get off to a strong start this coming weekend.”


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