Boks reveal their 'home base' for World Cup
NEWS: South Africa has chosen the French Riviera as the place to base themselves at next year’s World Cup.
The Springboks have selected Toulon as their base for the pool stages of the World Cup in 2023 in France.
The team set to be based in Paris for their third pool match against Ireland in at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis.
The tournament kicks off on Friday, September 8 and runs until Saturday, October 28 next year.
The defending champions and current top-ranked team on the World rankings had a selection of three potential bases in the south of France.
Following a thorough inspection of the options by Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and the team’s head of operations Charles Wessels at the conclusion of the Boks’ November tour to the UK in 2021, a decision was made to select the city on the Mediterranean coast as their preferred base for the international extravaganza.
The Springboks will launch their title defence against Scotland (September 10) at Stade Vélodrome in Marseille, before lining up against Spain at Stade de Bordeaux (September 17), Ireland at Stade de France in Saint-Denis (September 23) and the top qualifier from the Asia/Pacific region in Marseille (October 1) in the pool stages.
The Boks will use Toulon’s RCT campus as their main training field for the matches against Scotland, Spain and the qualifier from Asia/Pacific, with a few training sessions set to be hosted at the Stade Félix Mayol, while they will be based in Paris for the week in the build-up to their match against Ireland.
The Springboks will spend 28 days in Toulon setting up base at a hotel that is a 24-minute journey from the RCT training base.
Pending their progress in the global spectacle, the Boks will switch their base to Paris for the remainder of the tournament, as two quarterfinals, the semifinals and Final will play out nearby at Stade de France.
“Toulon’s RCT campus hosts some of the best training and team facilities in the regions we visited, and we are delighted with our selection with Toulon as our base for three of the pool matches in the round-robin stages of the competition,” said Nienaber.
“The facility is excellent, housing a high-performance gym, and indoor synthetic pitch, outdoor pitch, fixed cameras to assist with our technical analysis, recovery facilities as well as a fully equipped kitchen and dining area.
“So, in a sense it is a one-stop shop providing everything we need to ensure that our training sessions are as efficient as possible. With 18 months to go before the World Cup kicks off, this announcement has certainly added to the excitement about the journey ahead.”
Nienaber added: “We trained in Paris for a week before our year-end tour last season, so we have a good idea of what to expect in the country’s capital for the week leading up to the Ireland pool match and the final stages of the competition depending on our progress in the World Cup.
“For now, however, our focus remains on the season ahead, and every match we play will be vital in our preparation for the World Cup. We are currently putting the building blocks in place to get the season off to a strong start, and we intend to make the most of each opportunity on the field as we look ahead to next year’s showpiece.”
The Springboks will kick off their 2022 season with three Tests against Wales in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, and Cape Town on consecutive Saturdays – July 2, 9 and 16.
South Africa will then host New Zealand in Nelspruit and Johannesburg (Saturday, August 6 and 13) and Argentina in Durban (Saturday, September 24) in their Rugby Championship home Tests.
The Boks will play two away Tests against Australia (Saturday, August 27 and September 3 respectively) and one against Argentina in Buenos Aires on Saturday, September 17.
World Cup 2023 pools:
Pool A: New Zealand, France, Italy, Uruguay, Africa 1
Pool B: South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Asia/Pacific 1 qualifier
Pool C: Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Final qualifier winner
Pool D: England, Japan, Argentina, Samoa, Americas 2