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Top five Springboks of all time

South Africa boasts a world quality rugby side and we reveal who is our top five.

South Africa has a rich rugby history and with two world cups under their belts, the Springboks are considered a top rugby side. It was an incredible moment when former president Nelson Mandela held up the 1995 world cup trophy to the delight of millions of South Africa and when president Jacob Zuma did the same in 2007. So it’s fair to say that the Springboks know their rugby.

The South African website have compiled a list of the top Springboks of all time, we share the top five in no particular order:

  • Frik du Preez: With a career that spanned over 11 years, Du Preez played 38 test matches and was named South Africa’s player of the 20th century.


  • John Smit: Dubbed ‘Captain Courageous’, Smit played 112 test matches for the Boks and was the 50th captain to lead the Boks. He played under three coaches before Jake White and led the Boks to victory at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France.


  • Victor Matfield: The gentle giant took home the man of the match title at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France after he vigorously pushed back England’s defence. Standing over 2m-tall, Matfield became a force to be reckoned with on the rugby field and will be remembered for his exceptional skill at disrupting opposition line-outs.


  • Joost van der Westhuizen: Van der Westhuizen was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007 and then became a member of the World Rugby Hall of Fame when the International Hall was merged with the IRB Hall of Fame in 2014.He is most remembered for his days as a Blue Bulls scrumhalf when he began his career and was part of the team that brought South Africa glory in 1995.


  • Franscois Pienaar: When former president Nelson Mandela came onto the pitch in 1995 wearing Pienaar’s jersey number  lifting the William Webb Ellis Cup. This was the moment that Pienaar was solidified as one of the greatest players to play for the Springbok side. He collected 29 caps as captain for the Boks however he was subsequently dropped from the team in 1996 leading him to play for overseas rugby teams.


Credited Source: The South African website

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