The question many South Africans will be asking after a year in which the Springboks took one step forward and one step back is if their team can win the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The Boks may have been wildly inconsistent with seven wins from their 14 Tests in 2018, but they occasionally showed they are capable of scaling heights that seem beyond their reach. With so many mediocre results in the season, their undoubted highlight was their win over the All Blacks in Wellington. It shouldn’t just imbue them with self-belief ahead of the world cup, but stands as a beacon of hope for the other teams with a realistic chance of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup in November. That win would also have created doubt in the All Black, who had been near invincible at home. They lost in Wellington to the British and Irish Lions in 2017 and drew the deciding Test at Eden Park a week later. Their only other home defeats in the last decade came against France at Carisbrook in 2009 and the Springboks in Hamil...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now