The Springboks are the South African national Rugby Union team (for foreigners who do not watch rugby and are not aware of this). The 2010 FIFA World Cup is currently being hosted by South Africa. This is not the only event that South Africa has hosted in recent times.
In 1995 South Africa hosted the IRB Rugby World Cup and in 2003 South Africa hosted the Cricket World Cup. Exactly 15 years ago today we experienced the 1995 Springbok Rugby World Cup Victory against New Zealand. I thought that the Springboks would be an excellent topic for the 10 facts section today (for this reason).
Here are some facts about the Springboks:
- The first ever Springbok test match was played on the 30th of July 1891 against a touring side from the British Isles.
- Paul Roos was the captain of the first South African team to tour the British Isles and France. The team was largely dominated by players from the Western Province and took place over 1906–07.
- The Springboks played their first test against the All Blacks in 1921 at Carisbrook in Dunedin, New Zealand.
- The Springboks have played against the All Blacks 78 times. New Zealand won 42 of those matches, South Africa won 33 and 3 matches have resulted in draws. The Springboks have played 68 times against the Wallabies. The Springboks have won 40 of the matches, Australia have won 27 and 1 match resulted in a draw. The Springboks have played against England 31 times and have won 18 of those matches. England have won 12 and 1 match resulted in a draw.
- During the final test match at Eden Park, Auckland on 12 September 1981 a low-flying light plane piloted by Marx Jones and Grant Cole disrupted the final game of the controversial Springbok tour to New Zealand by dropping flour-bombs on the pitch. In spite of the flour bombing, the game was continued.
- The Springboks have won the IRB Rugby World Cup twice, in 1995 (in South Africa) and 2007 (in France). The Springboks did not compete in the 1987 and 1991 IRB Rugby World Cup tournaments.
- Kitch Christie (1994 -1996) and Jake White (2004 – 2007) were the coaches for the IRB World Cup winning Springbok teams.
- The Springboks have won the Tri-Nations tournament between South Africa, New Zealand and Australia 3 times, in 1998, 2004 and 2009.
- 10 former Springbok players have been inducted into either the International Rugby Hall of Fame or the IRB Hall of Fame. 6 are members of the International Rugby Hall of Fame only, 1 is a member of the IRB Hall of Fame only, and 3 are members of both Halls of Fame. Barry “Fairy” Heatlie, Bennie Osler, Danie Craven, Hennie Muller, Frik du Preez, Morne du Plessis, Naas Botha, Danie Gerber, Francois Pienaar and Joost van der Westhuizen make up this list of players.
- In 1903 the British Isles lost a series for the first time in South Africa. The Springboks remained unbeaten in any series (home or away) until 1956.
There you have it, some facts about the Springboks. This year’s Tri-Nations competition starts on the 2nd of July. I’m sure that the Springboks will be looking to obtain their 4th Tri Nations title this year and I’m sure that they’ll do their best at the 2011 IRB Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. If I’ve left out anything important on this post, please comment. Feel free to check out the other posts in the Facts category on this blog. You might also want to check out the daily updated Photography and Babes categories.