South Africa national rugby union team

The South Africa national rugby union team, commonly known as the Springboks (colloquially the Boks, Bokke or Amabokoboko),[1] is the country's national team governed by the South African Rugby Union. The Springboks play in green and gold jerseys with white shorts, and their emblem is the native antelope springbok. The team has been representing South Africa in international rugby union since 30 July 1891, when they played their first test match against a British Isles touring team. They are currently ranked the number one men's team by World Rugby and are the only team besides the All Blacks to have won the Rugby World Cup on three occasions (1995, 2007 and 2019).

South Africa
Nickname(s)
  • Springboks
  • Bokke
  • Amabokoboko
EmblemSpringbok
UnionSA Rugby
Head coachJacques Nienaber
CaptainSiya Kolisi
Most capsVictor Matfield (127)
Top scorerPercy Montgomery (893)
Top try scorerBryan Habana (67)
First colours
Second colours
World Rugby ranking
Current1 (as of 15 November 2021)
Highest1 (2007, 2008, 2009, 2019–2021, 2022)
Lowest7 (2017, 2018)
First international
South Africa 0–4 British Isles
(Cape Town, South Africa; 30 July 1891)
Biggest win
South Africa 134–3 Uruguay 
(East London, South Africa; 11 June 2005)
Biggest defeat
 New Zealand 57–0 South Africa
(Auckland, New Zealand; 16 September 2017)
World Cup
Appearances7 (First in 1995)
Best resultChampions, 1995, 2007, 2019
Websitespringboks.rugby

The team made its World Cup debut in 1995, when the newly democratic South Africa hosted the tournament. Although South Africa was instrumental in the creation of the Rugby World Cup competition, the Springboks did not compete in the first two World Cups in 1987 and 1991 because of international anti-apartheid sporting boycotts. The Springboks defeated the All Blacks 15–12 in the 1995 final, which is now remembered as one of the greatest moments in South Africa's sporting history, and a watershed moment in the post-Apartheid nation-building process.

South Africa regained the title as champions 12 years later, when they defeated England 15–6 in the 2007 final. As a result of the 2007 World Cup tournament the Springboks were promoted to first place in the IRB World Rankings, a position they held until July the following year when New Zealand regained the top spot. They were named 2008 World Team of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards.[2] South Africa then won a third World Cup title, defeating England 32–12 in the 2019 final. As a result of this, the South African National Rugby Union Team were named 2020 World Team of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards for a second time.

The Springboks also compete in the annual Rugby Championship (formerly the Tri-Nations), along with southern-hemisphere counterparts Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. They have won this championship on four occasions in twenty-four competitions and are the only team to have won a version of the competition and the Rugby World Cup in the same year.


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