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Last Updated: Friday, 26 September, 2003, 13:41 GMT 14:41 UK
Bands predicts Boks resurgence
Richard Bands
Bands believes the underdogs tag can help South Africa
South African prop Richard Bands insists the Springboks' poor run of form over the last year will have no bearing on their World Cup bid.

Since November last year, they have continually failed to ignite on the field, losing to France, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand and England.

But Bands, who has been one of South Africa's few consistently high performers, believes the Springbok mentality will put them back on course come the World Cup.

He said: "We may not have had the best year but there is still plenty of fight left in the side.

"We have put in a lot of work and all that matters is how you do at the World Cup, nothing else."

South Africa's national side is in something of a transition period under the tutelage of coach Rudolf Straeuli.

At times they have looked capable of matching the best, most notably when they were edged out by New Zealand in their final match of this season's Tri-Nations campaign.

But at others they have struggled, only beating Argentina and Scotland, twice, by narrow margins on home soil.

As a result they have fallen well out of World Cup contention in the bookmakers' eyes, a fact Bands believes will help the team's cause.

He added: "It is nice to face players who have a reputation, and who write you off before the game. It just serves as more motivation."

South Africa's World Cup bid kicks off on 11 October against Uruguay in Perth.

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