Having lost to New Zealand in their opening game in Japan four years ago, a side then under the guidance of Rassie Erasmus went unbeaten thereafter with a blend of power, smarts and skill that proved too much for England in the final.
Erasmus has since stepped up into a director of rugby role, with Jacques Nienaber taking over the day-to-day coaching and leading South Africa to a series victory over the British & Irish Lions in 2021.
A number of injuries to key figures has disrupted the build-up to this tournament for the Springboks, but Nienaber, Siya Kolisi and co. will be confident they can win what would be a record fourth World Cup.
Here is the World Cup schedule for South Africa and their possible route to the final. Get all the latest Rugby World Cup odds here.
South Africa pool fixtures:
South Africa are in Pool B alongside Ireland, Scotland, Tonga and Romania.
Sunday 10 September: South Africa 18-3 Scotland, Pool B (Stade Velodrome, Marseille)
Sunday 17 September: South Africa 76-0 Romania, Pool B (Stade de Bordeaux)
Saturday 23 September: South Africa 8-13 Ireland, Pool B (Stade de France, Paris)
Sunday 1 October: South Africa 49-18 Tonga, Pool B (Stade Velodrome, Marseille)
Saturday 14 October: Quarter-Final 2 (Winner Pool B vs Runner-Up Pool A) - Paris, 8pm
Sunday 15 October: Quarter-Final 4 (Winner Pool A vs Runner-Up Pool B) - Paris, 8pm
Friday 20 October: Semi-Final 1 (Winner of QF1 vs Winner of QF2) - Paris, 8pm
Saturday 21 October: Semi-Final 2 (Winner of QF4 vs Winner of QF4) - Paris, 8pm
Saturday 28 October: Winner of SF1 vs Winner of SF2, Paris, 8pm