The success of New Zealand teams on these shores comes with the benefit that it has made South Africa the preferred choice, among Kiwi rugby folk, to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
“In a lot of ways it seems common sense from our side of it,” All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster told stuff.co.nz after the announcement that South Africa’s is the preferred bid to host the event.
Foster has had a bird’s eye view as the All Blacks have won five of their last six Tests in South Africa while the Crusaders, Hurricanes, Highlanders or Chiefs (2) have been crowned Super Rugby champions over the past six seasons.
“South Africa are a massive historical part of the world rugby scene and have only had one World Cup, so from that side it’s great. And maybe they can get rid of some of those old stadiums and move to some of their new ones.”
“It’s great for South Africa,” said former All Blacks winger Jeff Wilson. “1995 was an outstanding tournament, the first as we were going into professional rugby, and as a player at that (tournament) it was something special.
“They’re a passionate rugby country, they’ve got the stadiums on the back of the football World Cup, so they’re going to be played in the right places. For a country that needs a (rugby) boost in some shape or form… this is ideal for them.
“It was a pretty special event, with the whole Jonah Lomu thing and the way the All Blacks played was amazing,” Foster said of the 1995 World Cup. “Most New Zealanders of my generation have probably as many memories of the ’95 event as any other World Cups. Even though they couldn’t quite finish it off, we all lived with that.”