Bok camp more concerned with winning, rather than number one sport ahead of Wales clash

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Siya Kolisi and Mzwandile Stick during the Springbok Showdown post-match press conference at Newlands on 3 October 2020.
Siya Kolisi and Mzwandile Stick during the Springbok Showdown post-match press conference at Newlands on 3 October 2020.
Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images
  • The Springboks aren't worried about the number one, despite the All Blacks occupying that spot.
  • The Springboks face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday.
  • The Bok group also celebrated SA Rugby director of rugby Rassie Erasmus's birthday on Friday.

The Springbok captain and assistant coaching duo of Siya Kolisi and Mzwandile Stick said they're not concerned about the fluctuations of the number one ranking in the world.

That position is currently occupied by New Zealand, who crushed Wales 54-16 in Cardiff last week while the Boks were still in transit from Paris.

The Welsh, whom the Boks haven't beaten in Cardiff since 2013, stand as a stiff test, but Kolisi said winning will get them to where they need to be.

"We just focus on what we do, and you can only be number one by winning your matches," Kolisi said.

"You have to worry about getting your processes sorted that will get you to that win. We need to deal with the preparations that will get us to the winning position."

With the Boks also coming in for consistent criticism in how they play their rugby, Stick said winning rugby is what people want to see, along with different teams being dominant.

"We just focus on how we need to play because that will lead us to winning, and that'll make the supporters proud of us," Stick said.

"The Boks are much loved, and people like to watch a winning team. There's also the excitement of seeing different teams being number one.

"Rugby needs differences of teams at the top and that is what supporters deserve, but once we're there, we'll stay."

It was at this point where SA Rugby's director of rugby Rassie Erasmus playfully interjected, from where Kolisi and Stick wished the 2019 Rugby World Cup winning coach a happy birthday.

It was indicative of a far relaxed nature of the tour where the Boks enjoyed the sights and sounds of Paris before crossing the English Channel.

The Boks made various sporting visits to Paris, and they've stayed with Kolisi as they winded down before the work that needs to be put in this week.

"It was nice to go and watch soccer, along with seeing some of the great players in the world," Kolisi said.

"We're also friends, and we want to see our favourite players in the world. It was really humbling, and they were down to earth.

"It was also a great experience to see the vibe in the stadiums and how different it is from what we're used to."

Teams

Wales

15 Johnny McNicholl, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 Jonathan Davies (captain), 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Josh Adams,  10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Taine Basham, 6 Ellis Jenkins, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ryan Elias, 1 Rhys Carré

Substitutes: 16 Bradley Roberts, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 WillGriff John, 19 Ben Carter, 20 Seb Davies, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Liam Williams

South Africa

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jasper Wiese, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn

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