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5 Springbok facts you may not know

We’ve compiled a list of five interesting facts about the Springboks you probably didn’t know.

FOR every South African this weekend, there was just pure delirium mixed with tears of joy as the Springboks etched their name into the history books at the Rugby World Cup.

Their Herculean efforts in an enthralling, anxiety-laced final saw the Boks clinch a record fourth Rugby World Cup by a single point, 12–11.

We’ve compiled a list of five interesting facts about the Springboks you probably didn’t know.

1. Google introduces animated firework celebration for Springboks’ triumph

If you’ve searched anything remotely about the South African national team, the Springboks, on Google this week, you’d notice a mini explosion of colours.

Simply type out ’the Springboks’ in the search bar, be it on your smartphone or desktop, and enjoy the interactive animated firework display on your screen.

There is also a firework icon which allows you to generate more fireworks should you wish to celebrate longer.

2. Donatello the Penguin predicted the Springboks win

In recent years, no World Cup has been complete without a ‘psychic’ animal predicting the winners.

The Cricket, Football and now Rugby World Cups all have animals sharing their ‘clairvoyant’ skills.

Be it Paul the ‘psychic’ Octopus at the 2010 World Cup or Achilles the Cat who acted as the 2018 Football World Cup forecaster, this year was no different as Donny the African Penguin at the South African Association for Marine Biological Research’s (SAAMBR) uShaka Marine World predicted the Springboks would win the Rugby World Cup.

Donny chooses the Springboks.

3. The Springboks inspired a new public holiday in 2023

If you happened to miss President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on October 30, you may have missed his public holiday declaration, albeit for this year only.

Ramaphosa declared Friday, December 15, 2023, as a public holiday in celebration of the Springboks’ momentous achievement at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in Paris, France.

“As we all watched their progress towards the championship, we marvelled at their resilience and determination to overcome some of the best teams in the rugby world. At moments when their cause seemed lost, they fought back and they emerged victorious,” he said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announces that the Springboks’ momentous achievement at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in Paris, France, has inspired a public holiday.

4. Springboks forward Ox Nche’s sister’s nickname

Springboks forward Retshegofaditswe ‘Ox’ Nche is a fan-favourite amongst fans, but did you know his sister, who also plays rugby, has the nickname of ‘Fox’ Nche?

Goitsoone ‘Fox’ Nche plays for the Cheetah’s Women’s Team.

Ox Nche with his winner’s medal from this year’s Rugby World Cup. Photo: Ox Nche Facebook page

5. Half of the tournaments won

Incredibly, out of the eight World Cups the Springboks have competed in, they have won half of the tournaments.

With triumphs in 1995, 2007, 2019 and 2023 World Cups, South Africa’s win at the Stade de France in Paris made them the first men’s team to win the Rugby World Cup four times.

They are also only the second team to defend a title from the tournament after New Zealand triumphed in 2011 and 2015.

1995 South Africa 15–12 New Zealand at Ellis Park Stadium (Johannesburg, South Africa)
2007 South Africa 15–6 England at Stade de France (Paris, France)
2019 South Africa 32–12 England at Nissan Stadium (Yokohama, Japan)
2023 South Africa 12-11 New Zealand at Stade de France (Paris, France)

The Springboks celebrate lifting the Webb Ellis Cup with President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: Presidency Twitter (X)


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