If there is one thing South Africans love and support, it’s Rugby. The game that brought a nation together back in 1995! Here are 10 interesting facts about the Springboks you probably didn’t know.
- As of July 2022, 929 South African rugby union players have represented the Springboks, either by playing in a test match or touring with the national side.
- On July 30, 1891, South Africa played its first test match against the touring British Isles team. South Africa was new to the game and lost twenty matches.
- The Springboks’ first overseas game was in Glasgow, Scotland in 1906.
- Between 1903 and 1956, the Springboks never lost a series.
- A cease-fire was called during the Second Boer War in 1902 so the British and Boer forces could play a rugby match.
- The Springboks were not allowed to compete in the first two Rugby World Cup tournaments in 1987 and 1991 due to anti-apartheid sporting boycotts until their World Cup debut in 1995, when South Africa hosted the tournament.
- Percy Montgomery who retired in 2008 was the first Springbok to play in over 100 tests for South Africa.
- Up until 1928, the Springboks did a Zulu dance similar to the Haka before the game.
- The first draw in a Test for South Africa was against the British Lions played in Johannesburg (10 – 10) on 26 August 1903.
- The Springboks have the second-highest winning percentage in test rugby out of all the major test-playing nations.
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was despair.” – Nelson Mandela