South Africa first played Test rugby in 1891, against a British Isles touring team. The Springboks made their Rugby World Cup debut in 1995, when the newly democratic South Africa hosted the tournament and the team, under the captaincy of Francois Pienaar, defeated the All Blacks in the final (15-12), a moment which is remembered as one of the greatest in South Africa's sporting history. The Springboks also won the Rugby World Cup in France in 2007, with John Smit as captain, when they beat England in the final in Paris by 15-6. South Africa then lifted the Webb Ellis Cup for a third time in 2019, when the Boks, under Siya Kolisi as captain, again beat England in the final in Tokyo, by 32-12. Other highlights of the professional era include victories in the Rugby Championship (Tri-Nations) in 1998, 2004, 2009 and 2019, as well as series victories over the British & Irish Lions in 2009 and 2021.
Last Updated: 28 Nov 2022
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