South Africa Springboks

The Springboks are the national rugby union team of South Africa and, despite struggles in recent years, are still regarded as one of the powerhouses of world rugby.

They have been ranked number one in the world rugby rankings on several occasions and usually sit in the middle of the top ten.

The Springboks boast a winning record against all but a handful of their international opponents, with only New Zealand and, surprisingly, Japan being able to say they’ve had the better of South Africa over time.

Competing alongside the Wallabies, All Blacks and Argentina in the Rugby Championship, the ‘Boks are yet to lift the trophy, although they did salute on three occasions in the previous Tri-Nations tourmanent.

A consistent performer, the Springboks have qualified for the knockout stage in every world cup they’ve qualified for.

The finest hour, however, arguably came in 1995 when – after apartheid-related boycotts saw them barred from the first two tournaments – the team won the world cup with a thrilling 15-12 extra-time win over New Zealand at home.

They reached the semi-finals in 1999, going down to Australia, before bowing out in the quarterfinals in 2003 to New Zeland.

South Africa lifted the Webb-Ellis trophy for a second time in 2007, however, defeating England.

More recently, the Springboks were knocked out in the 2011 quarterfinals by Australia, before being narrowly beaten in the 2015 semifinal by New Zealand.

Last updated: 15 August, 2018