South Africa not worried about pressure of expectation - Bongi Mbonambi

South Africa were the winners of the 2019 Rugby World Cup
South Africa were the winners of the 2019 Rugby World Cup
©Steve Haag

Springboks hooker Bongi Mbonambi said the team will not be weighed down by the expectations as they look to defend the Rugby World Cup this year.

As the defending champions and with anticipation mounting for the global spectacle, the team is faced with great expectations. However, Mbonambi expressed that they welcome and embrace this pressure.

“South African rugby fans don’t only have expectations on us in a World Cup year, it’s the same for every game we play,” said Mbonambi.

“We feel the expectations, but we don’t see it as pressure, we see it as an honour and a privilege.

“Of course, we feel nervous, but we are also excited. We love it and enjoy it.”

The 32-year-old also expressed confidence over the squad preparations over the last four years and is determined to create a momentum in the upcoming Rugby Championship.

“Four years ago was a completely different story. We were a bunch of new players coming together with a new coaching team and fresh plans, so it took longer to prepare and become aligned.

“This season we are finding our rhythm and aligning quicker, as we have known one another for four years longer, and we know what the coaches expect from us.

“As players we also know what to expect from each other and we are working harder because we can’t do what we did four years ago and expect the same result.

“We are currently putting our plans in place, and the alignment camps certainly helped in that regard. We are a big group, so everyone is being coached well in terms of our plans.”