Source: RugbyZone (news application for the iPhone). <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div> The Springboks might have confirmed their status as outright favourites to take the Tri-Nations but I doubt that will be the case by the time we get to the next World Cup in 2011. After the Boks capped off a great year by beating the All Blacks in Hamilton to add the Tri-Nations to their series win over the British Lions I noticed quite a lot of speculation about John Smit and his boys going on to retain the Webb Ellis Cup in New Zealand. No team has yet done that with the English, of all people! coming closest by playing in successive Finals, and the focus building up to the World Cup in New Zealand is going to be on whether the Boks can pull it off. And Iâ€™m not so sure they will. People seem to be losing from sight that weâ€™ve only just reached October 2009 which means the 2011 World Cup is still two years away â€“ and two years can be a very long time in international rugby. These Boks may be on top of the world right now but things may be very different when theyâ€™re two years older. John Smit who, with Victor Matfield, should by then have topped the century mark in caps (injuries permitting) but they will be respectively 33 and and 34 years old. Bakkies Botha will be 32, Danie Rossouw 33 and Jean de Villiers (if Peter de Villiers is willing to pick him) will be 30 while Fourie du Preez and Schalk Burger will be pushing the 30-mark. Now I know Martin Johnson was 33 when he led his â€˜Dadâ€™s Armyâ€ to victory in Sydney in 2003 but I think the situation with the Boks is going to be somewhat different. Whereas the England side were holding out for the crowning glory of their careers the Boks will be holding on and trying to push themselves to repeat something theyâ€™ve done before. Itâ€™s only a slight difference in the state of mind but could be huge because by then theyâ€™ll have a lot of miles on the clock and possibly be less focussed than they were in France. I played until I was 34 and can tell you that it has nothing to do with desire. Thatâ€™s still there, however you think youâ€™re training well but somehow youâ€™re just not there because the younger guys are taking it that step further. Being on top of the pile the Boks are being studied by everyone and theyâ€™re going to find it harder and harder â€“ especially in the modern environment where instead of building understudies the top players are expected to turn out and win every Test that comes along. From 1991 to 1995 we (the Wallabies) couldnâ€™t do it, John Ealesâ€™ side couldnâ€™t maintain the momentum from â€™99 to â€™03 and the England team pretty much fell apart after 2003. Iâ€™m afraid the Boks might also find Eden Park 2011 a bridge too far.[/b][/quote] I think he makes some good points, but we cannot foretell what is going to happen in 2011. There are several factors that will come into play. But I am confident the Boks will maintain their current performance for some time. Most of them have been playing together for years now, their chemistry seems solid and they won't just evaporate or go down out of nothing.