Brace yourselves … Ricardo Loubscher predicts another heart-stopping arm-wrestle between Springboks, All Blacks

Handre Pollard takes a penalty kick

South African's sat with their hearts in their mouth for the Springboks last two one point wins at the Rugby World Cup. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Oct 27, 2023


Former Springbok assistant coach and fullback Ricardo Loubscher believes it will be tight but that South Africa will eventually reign supreme in tomorrow’s World Cup final against the All Blacks.

Loubscher helped coach the Boks during the Heyneke Meyer era and captain-on-the-day Fourie du Preez’s team narrowly lost to the All Blacks 20-18 in the 2015 semi-final at Twickenham.

The two nations will go one step further tomorrow (kick-off 9pm) when they face off for the Webb Ellis Cup for only the second time in history.

“I’m not good with predictions,” Loubscher, who is currently the backline coach of the Lions, said yesterday from Edinburgh, “but just looking at the game, it is a massive opportunity.

“Congratulations to the Boks – the players and staff – for making another final. Looking forward to this game, it will be an arm-wrestle. It might be three points as the difference and hopefully we will be on top of it.”

It could quite possibly be No 8 Duane Vermeulen’s final Test, and his Lions counterpart Francke Horn admitted, while standing next to Loubscher during the media briefing, that watching the 37-year-old has been an inspiration.

Said the former Baby Bok: “I think he has 70 or 80 caps and that is no mean feat in itself.

“He has been a world-class player for the last seven or eight years for the Boks. He is a guy that I look up to and compare my game to.

“I know he will be one of the best players on the field after being the Player of the Match in 2019 final (against England in Tokyo) and I don’t expect anything less from him, other than giving his everything.”

The Lions are in Scotland to take on Edinburgh in a United Rugby Championship clash. They play their match before the Boks tomorrow at 6pm SA time.