The Springboks at the World Cup

The Springboks are about to kick off their 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan with their 1st match of the tournament against the All Blacks on Saturday. They are going into this tournament on a high having won the Rugby Championship earlier this season and having won their two warm-up matches against Argentina and Japan respectively. Here we take a look at how the Springboks have done at the previous rugby world cups.

Rugby World Cup Francois Pienaar

The Springboks famously lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in 1995 under the captaincy of Francois Pienaar and under the watchful eye of former President Nelson Mandela. The tournament was hosted in South Africa. This was the 1st Rugby World Cup that the Springboks competed in after the abolishment of apartheid. The Springboks won all 3 matches of the pool stage. They thrashed Western Samoa 42-14 in their quarter-final match. They beat France 19-15 in the semi-finals. In the final, held at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on 24 June, the Springboks defeated New Zealand 15–12, with fly-half Joel Stransky scoring a drop goal during extra time winning the match for South Africa.


At the 1999 Rugby World Cup, hosted in Wales, the Springboks, captained by Joost van der Westhuizen, finished 3rd getting the bronze medal. The Springboks finished on top of their pool winning all 3 of their pool matches. In the quarter-finals South Africa hammered England, beating them 44-21. The Springboks then came up against Australia in the semi-finals, unfortunately losing 27-21 to Australia. The bokke beat New Zealand 22-18 in the 3rd place play-off match to win bronze.

At the 2003 Rugby World Cup hosted in Australia, the Springboks, captained by Corne Krige, were knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the tournament. South Africa finished 2nd in the pool stage of the tournament having won 3 of their 4 pool matches. Unfortunately they came up against a strong New Zealand side in the quarter-finals. New Zealand trounced the Springboks 29-9.

Rugby World Cup John Smit

The Springboks, captained by John Smit, won the 2007 Rugby World Cup hosted in France. Former President Thabo Mbeki was there in France to celebrate the victory with the bokke! The Springboks finished on top of their pool winning all 4 of their group matches. They beat Fiji 37-20 in the quarter-finals. They then trounced Argentina 37-13 in the semi-finals. England were the Springboks’ opponents in the final. The Springboks beat England 15-6 to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for the 2nd time.

The 2011 Rugby World Cup was hosted in New Zealand. The Springboks, captained by John Smit, finished on top of their pool by winning all 4 of their pool matches. The boks suffered a narrow quarter-final 11-9 loss to Australia.

The 2015 Rugby World Cup was hosted in England. The Springboks, under captain Jean de Villiers, finished 3rd in the tournament winning a bronze medal. The Springboks suffered a humiliating loss to Japan in their 1st match of the tournament and had to fight their way back to eventually finish on top in their group standings. They beat Wales 23-19 in the quarter-finals. The bokke narrowly lost 20-18 to New Zealand. The Springboks came up against Argentina in the 3rd play-off. They beat Argentina 24-13 to claim 3rd place and the bronze medal.

Rugby World Cup Siya Kolisi

In this year’s rugby world cup the Springboks, captained by Siya Kolisi, will come up against New Zealand, Italy, Namibia and Canada in the pool stage. 1st up for the Springboks is the match against New Zealand on the 21st September. Can the Springboks lift the Rugby World Cup trophy for a 3rd time? Let’s support them all the way as they aim to do exactly so.