Both the All Blacks and the Springboks put in strong performances in their warm-up matches over the weekend – but one photo in particular showed why the South Africans could be such a dangerous outfit at the World Cup.
Sure, the All Blacks thrashed Tonga 92-7, almost hitting a ton and even choosing, on purpose, to finish the match with just 14 players – later revealed by Steve Hansen to be a decision to put the team under even more pressure.
And yes, the Springboks were also impressive in their match; smashing World Cup hosts Japan 41-7 while avenging their shock loss in the last 2015 World Cup in their opener where the Brave Blossoms took out a famous upset victory.
But the Boks also seem to have something the All Blacks squad don't quite have. They're all... like, ridiculously ripped.
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A photo of Rassie Erasmus' World Cup squad circulated social media last week, with almost every player from the side posing shirtless and looking seemingly in the best shape of their lives.
The six packs on show could have been used to grate enough cheese for an entire village. The Springboks, who many have tipped as the team to push the All Blacks at the World Cup the most, also seem to look the part.
What about Sonny Bill Williams? Well, sure, the All Blacks' Twitter troubadour is pretty jacked but have you seen Springbok midfielder Jesse Kriel?
If the World Cup was a body building competition, the buff Boks would surely be favourites. But even in its current state, the physicality of South Africa – as shown by their shirtless snap – mixed with their suffocating rush defence will be a major obstacle for the All Blacks in their first match of the tournament.
Former Ireland international Stephen Ferris was one of those who shared the photo, adding the caption: "The @Springboks squad... a few half decent rigs... @rugbyworldcup
contenders...? I wouldn't be betting against them anyways."
The All Blacks face South Africa in their first match of the Rugby World Cup at the International Stadium Yokohama on September 21 at 9.45pm (NZT).
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