South Africa National Rugby Union Team
Few teams carry such a weight of national expectation as the Springboks – in recent years their sporting success has played a huge part in renewing South Africa’s sense of identity. Their return to the international stage has also re-ignited a three-way rivalry with Australia and New Zealand: surely the most powerfully competitive match-ups anywhere in the game. The famous green and gold jersey represents not just the team, but a club, school and university culture that worships the sport. For an iconic experience, plan your trip and check out our selection of South Africa Rugby Union Tickets available at Ticketbis!
South Africa Rugby Union – more than just a game
The Springboks reinforce that sense of identity by playing at a number of test venues, rather than in one national stadium. Ellis Park in Johannesburg, the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria and the famous Newlands ground in Cape Town have all played host to memorable matches in the past, bringing live Springbok rugby to different parts of the country.
Since the country’s re-emergence to full test-playing status in the 1990s, a new generation of sporting heroes have delighted their home fans. Many of them have come to define their position and their style of play. A fearsome scrummager, ‘Os’ du Randt combined muscular presence and an agile and effective energy in the loose. Francois Pienaar was an all-action flanker who could take the initiative and turn a game by sheer endeavour. Joost van der Westhuizen was the perfect example of an enterprising and fearless scrum half, while Brian Habana became a record holder as a flying finisher.
The famous World Cup win in 1995 is still seen as a formative part of the new South Africa’s self-image. As both sides battled to contain each other’s formidable attacking threat, kickers Andrew Mehrtens and Joel Stransky played out a cool-headed kicking duel that took the game into extra time. As the clock ran down, South Africa retained possession and set up an opportunity for Stransky, who dropped a goal from over 35 yards to win the game.
Fairytale moments haven’t always gone the Springboks way, however. In the 2015 World Cup, Japan pulled off one of the biggest shocks in the game. After a five-metre lineout, a drive for the line and a disallowed try, the Cherry Blossoms had the chance of a penalty – and a 32-32 draw. Opting for a scrum, on 80 minutes, they reaped their reward with a late try.
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See South Africa take on the best teams in Europe in the Autumn internationals. Or watch them on the ultimate stage in the World Cup.