The Springboks: 20 Interesting Facts you might not know

The Springboks are the South African national Rugby Union team (for foreigners who do not watch rugby and are not aware of this).

The Springboks have been playing rugby for more than 100 years. There’s probably a lot of things that you didn’t know about them…

The Springboks: 20 Interesting Facts you might not know 1 Here are 20 facts you might not have known about the Springboks:

1. The first ever Springbok test match was played on the 30th of July 1891 against a touring side from the British Isles.

2. 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.

3. The Springboks played their first test against the All Blacks in 1921 at Carisbrook in Dunedin, New Zealand.

4. The Springboks have played against the All Blacks 99 times. New Zealand won 59 of those matches, South Africa won 36 and 4 matches have resulted in draws.

4. 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.

5. The Springboks have won the Rugby World Cup three times, in 1995 (in South Africa), in 2007 (in France) and in 2019 (in Japan). The Springboks did not compete in the 1987 and 1991 IRB Rugby World Cup tournaments.

6. Kitch Christie (1994 -1996), Jake White (2004-2007) and Rassie Erasmus (2018-2019) were the coaches for the IRB World Cup winning Springbok teams.

7. The Springboks won the Tri-Nations tournament between South Africa, New Zealand and Australia 3 times (in 1998, 2004 and 2009). Argentina was added into the mix in 2012 and the tournament became known as the Rugby Championship. South Africa won the tournament for the first time in 2019.

8. 14 South Africans have been inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. The list includes Naas Botha, Danie Gerber, Danie Craven, Nelson Mandela and Kitch Christie.

9. 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.

10. To date the Springboks have played a total of 503 test matches. They’ve won 315, lost 164 and drawn 24 matches. They’ve scored more than 11,000 points in those games.

11. The most capped Springbok of all time is Victor Matfield. He represented South Africa in 127 test matches between 2000 and 2015.

12. Percy Montgomery holds the South African record for test points. He scored 893 points in 102 tests between 1998 and 2007.

13. The most points that a Springbok team has scored in a match are 134. They scored 21 tries in a test match against Uruguay in East London in 2005. The visitors only scored 3 points in the match.

14. The Springboks had their longest winning streak between August 1997 and September 1998. They won 17 test matches in a row.

15. Bryan Habana holds the record for the most individual tries scored by a Springbok. He scored 67 tries in 124 matches.

16. The Springboks lost 7 consecutive matches between July 1964 and August 1965. This is their longest losing streak in history.

17. Naas Botha holds the Springbok record for most drop goals scored by an individual player. He kicked over 18 drop goals in 28 test matches between 1980 and 1992.

18. Morne Steyn holds the record for the most penalty goals scored by an individual player. He kicked over 154 penalties in 66 matches between 2009 and 2016.

19. Bryan Habana is the Springbok player that has been issued with most yellow cards. He received 7 of them between 2004 and 2016.

20. A total of only 9 Springbok players have been sent off (since the introduction of red cards).

Well, there you have it, 20 facts you might not have known about the Springboks. If I’ve left out anything important on this post, please comment below.

Watch this space for updates in the Facts category on Running Wolf’s Rant.


Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. brian

    i really enjoy reading your blog boet. Keep it up.

    1. Henno Kruger

      I know it’s 9 years later, but the article has been expanded 😀

  2. Jaco

    Hey boet.Thanks for the cool info.Started looking for cheap cars for sale, ended up here. Guess I’ve always got bokke and world cup on my mind. How bout putting some bokke world records in here. Thanks for a lekker site.

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