Springboks have had their day in the sun, says Australia’s Lynagh

2011-09-09 10:10

Singapore – Australia’s leading all-time points scorer, Michael Lynagh, believes the current South African squad may have had their day in the sun when it comes to winning rugby World Cups.

The former Wallaby fly-half, speaking in an interview with Laureus, pointed to the fact that no team had ever won back-to-back tournaments and agreed with those who say the Springboks may be a little long in the tooth.

South Africa, who have retained 18 of their victorious squad from 2007, go into the tournament on the back of another poor Tri-Nations campaign and start with a tough encounter against Wales on Sunday.

Lynagh, world rugby’s eighth-highest all-time top points scorer, believes that some players delay retirement in the hope that they can achieve back-to-back World Cup wins, a feat yet to be achieved in rugby.

“There is a view that a lot of the South African forwards may be a little aged,” said Lynagh.

“A lot of them were involved in the last World Cup and it’s a fact no nation has ever won back-to-back World Cups and a lot of the time that’s the reason why.

“Players that won a World Cup hold on a little bit long and want to do another one.”

South Africa start their opening 2011 World Cup match with a record-equalling nine players from their last World Cup encounter, the 2007 final against England.

The Springboks 1995 World Cup winning manager Morne du Plessis agreed the tournament could prove a swan song for many, but insisted wearing the Springbok jersey would fire up the side.

“The experienced players. There might be a question mark: have they gone one World Cup too far?” asked Du Plessis during an interview with Laureus.

“I don’t think that any rugby player in South Africa pulling on a rugby jersey, a Springbok rugby jersey in a World Cup, will be complacent. There is just no such thing,” he added.

South Africa begin the defence of their title against Wales in Wellington on Sunday before facing Fiji, Namibia and Samoa in Pool D. 

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