Category Archives: Springbok History

Some Interesting Springbok Trivia

Here is just some interesting Springbok trivia that I found very interesting:

To date the Springboks has played 419 tests, 246 at home and 173 away. They have won 267, drawn 20 and lost 132 (Home – W172, D13, L61; Away – W95, D7, L71)

They have scored 9495 points (1152 tries) and conceded 6479 points (648 tries). Only the All Blacks has a better than 50% winning ratio against the Springboks. They have outscored the Springboks by 299 points and 42 tries.

During the 1800’s we played in 7 tests and won only 1. 61 players made their debuts during these 7 tests. That is on average 9 new players a test. Only Two players went on to play in the 1900’s. Jackie Powell and Fairy Heatlie. There were 5 captains.

Between 1900 and 1938, prior to the Second World War, we played 43 tests winning 33, 5 draws and 9 losses. 176 new caps were given out. That is an average of 4 new caps a test. None of these players played for the Springboks after 1938. There were 14 captains, one every 3 tests.

Between 1949 and 1976, between the Second World War and Isolation, we played 96 tests, won 59, drawn 10 and lost 27. 199 players made their debut. On average 2 players a test. 14 of these players played tests during the isolation years. Morne du Plessis, Niek Bezuidenhout, Dawie Snyman, Kevin de Klerk, Peter Whipp, Gerrie Germishuys, Dave Frederickson, Moaner van Heerden, Gerrie Sonnekus, Robert Cockrell, Edrich Krantz, De Wet Ras, Theuns Stofberg and Johan Strauss. We had 9 coaches with Danie Craven being the first and the most successful. 17 captains took to the field, one every 5 tests.

During the Isolation years (1977-1989) we played 28 tests, winning 23 and losing 5. 62 players received their first caps. Average 2 a game. 10 players went onto play after isolation with Andre Joubert playing his last game in 1997. They were Naas Botha, Danie Gerber, Rudi Visagie, Uli Schmidt, Wahl Bartmann, Jannie Breedt, Garth Wright, Adolf Malan, Heinrich Rogers and Andre Joubert. 3 coaches did duty during this period and we had 6 captains.

Since 1992 we have played in 245 tests, won 151, drawn 5 and lost 89. 246 players made their debut. We have had 11 coaches and 14 captains.

The Springboks made their debuts against the following teams:

All Blacks 131; Argentina 19; Australia 84; B&I Lions 187, Canada 3; England 36; Fiji 3; France 55; Georgia 1; Ireland 36; Italy 30; NZ Cavaliers 10; Romania 3; Samoa 7; Scotland 62, South America 15; Spain 2; Tonga 2; Uruguay 4; USA Eagles 1; Wales 40; World XV 14.

And they have ended their careers as against:

All Blacks 156; Argentina 9; Australia 99; B&I Lions 170; Canada 1; England 59; Fiji 1; France 53; Georgia 5; Ireland 18; Italy 6; Namibia 2; NZ Cavaliers 6; Samoa 9; Scotland 30; South America 19; Spain 4; Tonga 3; Uruguay 1; USA Eagles 8; Wales 30; World XV 19.

In total 745 players has worn the Green & Gold jersey of the Springboks in a test match. Only one Broekie van Broekhuizen never represented any team in a Currie Cup competition.



South Africa v Britian: 30 July 1891

South Africa played their first international game on 30 July 1891 against Britian. The South Africans will become known as the Springboks while Britain will eventually become known as the British & Irish Lions.

The match was played at Crusaders, later becoming St’ George’s Park, in Port Elizabeth. This ground would also host the first international cricket match in South Africa. Approaximately 6000 people attended the game. Britain won the game 0-4. They scored 2 tries and converted one. In these early days of rugby a try was 1 point, a conversion 2, a penbalty 3 and a drop goal counted 4.

The South African team consisted of:

Position Player Prov Age Tests Caps Score
Forward Frank Hamilton EP 28 0 
Forward George Merry Natal 22 0 
Forward Fred Alexander Griquas 20 0 
Forward Edward Little Griquas 26 0 
Forward Japie Louw Tvl 23 0 
Forward Tiger Devenish Tvl 24 0 
Forward (c)H.H. Castens WP 26 0 
Forward Bill Bisset WP 23 0 
Halfback Oupa Versfeld WP 31 0 
Halfback Frank Guthrie WP 21 0 
Left Wing Mosey van Buuren WP 25 0 
Inside Centre Alf Richards WP 23 0 
Outside Centre Chubb Vigne Tvl 22 0 
Right Wing Harry Boyes Griquas 23 0 
Full Back Ben Duff WP 23 0 

The referee was Dr John Griffen of South Africa. Ben Duff was credited as the first Springbok. The team was announced from fullback to forwards. HH Castens was the captain. The team had a total of 0 test caps in the starting line-up.

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