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The Six Best South African Rugby Players of All-Time

The Six Best South African Rugby Players of All-Time

Est. Reading: 3 minutes
South Africa is a huge sporting nation with representation in different sports, especially Soccer, Cricket, and Rugby. The country is famed for its numerous exploits in Rugby, after the incredible 1995 run to become the first African nation to win the World Cup in the sport.

They even became one of the top Rugby betting picks

As a result, we’ve had numerous top players from South Africa lighting up the show at different Rugby World stages. Some of these players went on to win many games for the Springboks. Their popularity was never questioned, and these players have hugely impacted South Africa’s Rugby history. 

Os Du Randt

The first name on our list is the 2007 Webb Ellis Cup champion, Os Du Randt, a legendary South African rugby player who went on to get multiple caps and trophies. One of his greatest exploits was the 1995 world cup winning run, where he was part of the team that took the title home as a youngster. 

Even though he retired because of a serious injury in 2000, he made an impressive comeback to the team in 2003. As a result, he went back into the team the following year, and within three years of his return, he helped the Springboks win their second-ever Webb Ellis cup, and he was the man of the match against Argentina in the final. 

Uli Schmidt

Unlike Randt, Schmidt didn’t win the World Cup for the Springboks as he retired a year before the team went all the way. He is one of the greatest players to wear the colors. 

He was a fearsome player and made the front row forward a solid one for the country. He played in the team for eight years, earning an incredible reputation. 

Out of his 17 top matches for the Springboks, he won 10, and as a result, he got the reputation of one of the hardest men of that era. Even after his retirement, he didn’t leave the team. He continued serving as a team doctor under the Straeuli regime. 

Hannes Marais

The tour of Australia in 1971 for the Boks is one of the most impressive runs in the team’s history, and one name shines through history, Hannes Marais. In 1971, Marais was the captain of the Springbok team, and he captained the side to an unbeaten run on the tour of Australia. The team won every game throughout the tour, solidifying the team’s name in Rugby history. 

Even though it was a trying time back home as the team went on tour in Australia, they kept their heads down and continued to make the country proud. Marais and the team were focused on delivering, and they did that in grand style, and every South African rugby fan would never forget the class of ‘71.

Mark Andrews

In 1994, Mark Andrews became one of the Springbok players. Fortunately, he was part of the team that went on to win the first World Cup for South Africa, giving him a good start in his rugby career. Andrews didn’t stop there as he continued to improve his all-around play to ensure he kept delivering for the team.

In addition, he became a mainstay in the pack and was in the engine room orchestrating some of his best works as the towering second row. Undoubtedly, he was a versatile player as he showed he could play eight during the semi-final match against France. From his debut year, he went on to win 77 caps for the Springbok and got an international stint with Newcastle Falcons in the English Premiership. 

Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield is one of the best players and a veteran who has mastered his game. He had an impressive run with the Springbok, and in 2011, he called off his international playing career after captaining the side to another World Cup. Undoubtedly, he had an impressive career, getting over 100 caps for the team.

He was part of the team that won the 2007 World Cup for South Africa, and even after his retirement, he came back in 2014 to captain the team in their June tests. He also signed a two-year contract for the Bulls, increasing his number of caps. He finally retired with the Northampton Saints in 2016.

Andre Venter

Regarded as one of the best Flankers of all time, Andre Venter is a top South African player that has continued to impress and give us an incredible show. He was part of the 1999 World Cup side and produced some of the best performances in the competition, earning him a reputation. 

Venter was a team player and had 66 caps for the Springbok, including nine tries for the team. He was fit and one of the hardest men at the time. But unfortunately, Venter is unlucky as he was struck by one of the different motor neuron diseases, leaving him confined to a wheelchair.


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