Will South Africa or New Zealand become the first four-time champions at the men's Rugby World Cup?
The GIST: After seven weeks of grueling scrums, mauls, and tries, the men’s Rugby World Cup final kicks off tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET, featuring the most heated rivalry in the sport. No. 2 New Zealand (All Blacks) and the defending champs, No. 1 South Africa (Springboks), will meet with the trophy on the line. Now or never, baby.
The matchup: Both sides uncharacteristically suffered early pool play losses but still survived the 20-team field to set up their first finals clash since their historic 1995 match. And the stakes couldn’t be higher, with both nations looking to become the first men’s team to win four Rugby World Cup titles.
- The All Blacks own a narrow 3-2 edge over the Springboks in their five previous World Cup matches, but South Africa returned 10 of the 15 starters from their 2019 championship squad. This final has cinematic ending written all over it.
Zooming out: The best news of all? There isn’t much longer to wait for more international rugby — women’s and men’s. Stade de France, where tomorrow’s match will be played, will also host Paris 2024 Olympic Games rugby action.