Cape Town - Former Springbok flyhalf Butch James says the All Blacks and Wallabies are deserved finalists at this year’s Rugby World Cup in England.
New Zealand reached the final after edging South Africa 20-18 in the semi-finals at Twickenham on Saturday, while Australia beat Argentina 29-15 in Sunday’s last-four duel.
“Both (New Zealand and Australia) are deserved finalists. Both are unbeaten up until now so they really do deserve to be there, especially Australia - after going through that ‘Pool of Death’ and then getting through their quarters and semis as well,” James said via a video posted to his Twitter page.
The Boks will now face Argentina in the Bronze Final on Friday night (22:00 SA time).
While acknowledging his disappointment at the Springboks’ failure to reach the final, James said they fought hard.
“Obviously everyone is very disappointed, but I’m very proud of the Springboks,” the 2007 World Cup winner said.
“It’s going to be a tough third-fourth place playoff. I think it’s always hard for those two teams to lift themselves up, but it should be a good game anyway.”