South Africathe Springboks – always a dangerous team to face.  They play a brutal physical game, and with the extensive experience in their pack – they know a lot of tricks and how to read their opponents play.  Coming into this RWC as 2nd in the World, will do their confidence no harm – but they will be badly wanting to beat their fellow pool team of Ireland, who are rated one above them as best in the world!

Looking to win their Fourth RWC, (1995, 2007 & last tournament of 2019), many eyes will be on Springboks tactics of the 6-2 split, and the so-called Bomb Squad.  

Should see them progress through the draw pool matches with no problems – although the pool match against Tonga promises to be a bruiser!  As 24th September will be National Braai Day in South Africa, the Springboks will be looking to celebrate a win against Ireland, which match is the day before! 

But the other teams in Pool B, Scotland, Tonga and Romania will be remembering the 35 -20 defeat of the Boks by the All Blacks in July – the Springboks are threatening but not invincible!

Captain:  Siya Kolisi

Players to Watch: Canan Moodie, the youngest player in the 2023 squad, but impressive against New Zealand. Moves to wing for the first match against Scotland. 

For more details on South African Rugby –

For full details of the Rugby World Cup 2015 follow :

What to Eat & Drink whilst watching the Springboks

Food:  With many different historical influences and different cultures in South African their cuisine is really a melting pot of flavours.  But for a party – one thing South Africans do very well is a BBQ – known as a Braai.  It can range from all sorts of meat (and indeed even fish – Snoek being the classic) – but also great sausages such as Boerewors. Also traditional is the Braaibroodjie – a South African BBQ’ed cheese sandwich!   A fabulous snack for watching the match is Biltong – but don’t be put off if you’ve tried it before from a supermarket and left chewing it for hours – find a good supplier like the guys below – and give the various types a go!

Simply African Food Ltd have a great website to help source everything you need to start off your South African party and you can order online snacks such as biltong and droewors (a spicy dried sausage) as well meats for the BBQ such as Boerewors. Visit these great guys online (we are lucky as they are local and so pop up at our local market!)

If you plan a Braii for the pre match warm up, remember the fundamental rule: “Don’t sit back and tell the person Braii-ing how to cook the meat. If you don’t have the tongs in your hand, then keep your opinions to yourself!”

South Africa also has a wealth of great natural products from seafood, through to honey and a wide variety of fruits.  The modern style of cooking is more creative, varied and lighter than one might expect. 

For recipes suggestions, one of my favourites (almost 10 years old but still great) do buy the cook book “Entertaining at Hamilton Russell Vineyards” by Olive Hamilton Russell, who along with husband Anthony Hamilton Russell, own one of the most brilliant wine estates of South Africa. The book has 50 recipes – all seasonal and show casing South African produce.


Beer:  Castle Lager & Lion Lager are classics and will always turn up at a Braai!  As well as Soweto Gold, all are available from

Craft indie breweries in South Africa are on the increase such as

Wine:  South Africa is home to a diverse style of wines, from the easy quaffing entry levels to some world class wines. Historically it was known for two flagship varieties:  Chenin Blanc in the White Corner and for Reds – Pinotage.   But today there is a much wider range of grape varieties to explore from Chardonnay to sauvignon, Cabernet to Shiraz. Also, home to some stunning Pinot Noirs. 

AA Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc – Forget bland interpretations of Chenin Blanc, this wine is stunning from brilliant winemaker Adi Badenhorst.  Hailing from old-vines in the Swartland region, with ridiculously low yields, giving huge complexity & texture – bags of exotic fruit and layers of flavour that sing in the class. Way outperforms its price tag of £16. Quite simply – Buy! Available from

The Search Grenache Blanc, Marsanne & Roussanne. Made from three varieties more usually found in the Southern Rhone valley in France (think Chateauneuf du Pape et alia), an easy drinking but appealing white, with appealing aromatics such as peach, sage and white pepper. Good party wine at under a tenner.   From

Bellingham The Bernard Series Viognier– beautiful floral, aromatic, pure apricots on the nose – a lovely wine.  Available £14.99 The General Wine Company (who have a large range of South African wines)

Stellenrust Stellenbosch Manor Cinsault. One of our go-to Tuesday evening wines, especially when pizza is on the menu at home, this red from the Cinsault grape variety, is attractively lighter in style making it an ideal wine for match day! Red fruits, spicy and easy quaffing. Just over £10 from

Kanonkop Kadette Pinotage – Well we had to have a Pinotage, and from who better than the estate that made this red variety famous (I also had the best Braai ever at their estate on my first visit to the winelands of the Cape!)  Attentive winemaking means this example is much more approachable in the glass, with more fruit, less of the old-style rustic notes.  Bright red fruit with warmth and cocoa on the finish.  £14 from

Hamilton Russell Pinot Noir £47. Perhaps not one for sloshing around at a Braii, but definitely one to indulge if the Springboks get through to the final stages.  Very elegant, Burgundian style with layers of complexity.  This world class Pinot Noir has a seductive savoury-ness with notes of leather backed up by good fruit.  Available –

For more information on Wines of South Africa – visit