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Rugby Champs will determine who’s best in world, says Boks’ Stick

Springbok assistant coach Mzwandile Stick firmly believes that a Southern Hemisphere side will return to the top of the World Rugby rankings by the end of the Rugby Championship.

Speaking ahead of the Springboks‘ opening match against the All Blacks at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday, Stick claimed that the Northern Hemisphere sides had been hyped up and that they would soon be replaced at the summit.

ALSO READ: The greatest rivalry: Boks v All Blacks

Currently Ireland, who upset the All Blacks 2-1 in their series in New Zealand last month, top the world rugby rankings on 90.03 points, while France, who beat Japan 2-0 in their series, sit second on 89.41 points.

The Boks, who sat top before the July Internationals, dropped to third on 88.61 points due to them losing their second Test against Wales, while the All Blacks slipped from third to fourth on 86.93 points, due to their series loss against Ireland.

“The honest truth is that in the next two games you will be able to tell who the best team in the world is. I know a lot of people are talking about the Northern Hemisphere sides being the best in the world,” said Stick.

“But they have now finished their season and have played about five games more than us, and I don’t doubt that in the next four weeks the (World Rugby rankings) log will change. That is something that we don’t normally stress about.

“But I know it’s been hyped up that the All Blacks and Springboks aren’t the best teams in the world anymore. But I can guarantee you now that in the next three to four weeks things will change and a Southern Hemisphere side will be number one in the world.”

Huge challenge

Looking ahead to the game Stick is expecting a huge challenge against a team that just cannot be written off, due to their dominance in world rugby over the years.

“The game is massive because to be playing the All Blacks who have been dominating the Southern Hemisphere for a while now, that’s where you measure yourself,” admitted Stick.

“If we can have a good start and build on from where we left off against Wales, I think it will be a massive boost for our squad.

“That’s one of the key focus points for us, we really want to have a good follow up from where we left off against Wales in Cape Town.”

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