The secret soul of Springbok rugby
How Doc Craven's PhD in Anthropology and his visit to the Māori still shape the values of the Springboks
Tomorrow is the Rugby World Cup final. South Africa, the world number one and current WC champion, plays New Zealand, the most successful team of the last two decades. It will likely be a thrilling contest between two old rivals and the two most successful rugby teams of the professional era.
What makes South Africa so successful as a rugby nation? There are, of course, the standard explanations: we have abundant (and diverse) player resources across all strata of South African society; we have several dozen schools with elite training and coaching infrastructure, attracting the best of the best young players from across the country; our professionals play competitive domestic and international club or franchise competitions; we have an experienced coaching and conditioning team that has been together for more than four years; the players and support team knows exactly what is expected of them, have a clear plan, and trust each other to execute. But it was something that Siya Kolisi said in the press conference leading up to the semi-final clash against England that reminded me of another factor at play…
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