The men’s Rugby World Cup that is set to kick off in Paris on Friday evening has been more eagerly anticipated than any that has come before it, even the 1995 “Madiba” version that is so memorable for South Africans in particular and was immortalised in the movie Invictus. 

This is in part because the most recent competition — won by the Springboks for a record-equalling third time — took place in Japan in 2019 in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic, which put a bit of a damper on events (but from an SA point of view at least, not on the outcome)...

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