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South Africa is facing New Zealand in the rugby world cup final

The Rugby World Cup Final Preview | South Africa vs. New Zealand

The grand finale of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France promises an electrifying showdown as defending champions South Africa face off against New Zealand in the ultimate clash at Stade de France, Saint-Denis, scheduled for Saturday, October 28th.

These two powerhouses, New Zealand and South Africa, stand as the most successful teams in the tournament’s history, each boasting three Rugby World Cup titles to their name.

In 2015, the All Blacks achieved an unprecedented feat, becoming the first team to retain the prestigious Webb Ellis Cup. Now, the Springboks, stand poised to replicate this remarkable accomplishment if they can emerge victorious.

This final is not merely a contest of talent and strength; it also rekindles one of rugby’s most storied rivalries. The Springboks and the All Blacks will meet in the final for the first time since the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. That historic encounter saw the hosts triumph over New Zealand, led by the formidable Jonah Lomu, with a final score of 15-12, clinching the coveted Webb Ellis Cup for the first time.

This monumental victory took on an even greater significance, serving as a symbol of unity and hope during the early years of democracy in South Africa. The moment when Nelson Mandela presented the Webb Ellis Cup to Springbok captain Francois Pienaar is etched into the annals of sporting history as one of the most iconic images. Wearing a replica of Pienaar’s number-six jersey, Mandela jubilantly raised his fist as Pienaar hoisted the trophy high.

Since that historic moment, these two rugby giants have clashed four times at the Rugby World Cup, with the All Blacks emerging victorious in three of those encounters. South Africa did manage to beat New Zealand in the bronze-medal match during the 1999 edition.

Notable matches between these titans include New Zealand’s quarter-final win (29-9) in 2003 and their nail-biting semi-final victory (20-18) in 2015, which eventually led them to their second consecutive title. The All Blacks secured another win against their Southern Hemisphere rivals in the pool match at the 2019 World Cup in Japan. Despite this setback, South Africa demonstrated their resilience, becoming the first team to lose a pool match and go on to win the tournament.

It’s worth noting that since the inception of the Rugby World Cup in 1987, only four nations have laid their hands on the coveted Webb Ellis Cup: England, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Before the much-anticipated final, rugby enthusiasts can catch another thrilling match on Friday, October 27th, when England and Argentina will battle it out to determine who secures third place in this remarkable tournament.

For everything about the Rugby World Cup 2023 check out our guide here.

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