South Africa is blessed with many players who work tirelessly from behind the curtains – here’s your chance to decide which of these two Springboks deserve more credit.
Albert van den Berg made his international debut for the Boks on 12 June 1999 in a 74-3 victory over Italy in Port Elizabeth.
The lanky, fleet-footed lock was selected in SA’s 1999 Rugby World Cup squad, playing in five matches during the tournament while scoring two tries against Uruguay.
After a three-year absence from Test rugby, Van den Berg was recalled by Jake White in 2004, helping SA win the Tri-Nations that same year. He earned the last of his 51 Test caps as part of White’s 2007 World Cup-winning squad.
Van den Berg also represented Griquas, the Cats, Sharks, Canon Eagles and Barbarians before his retirement in 2013, and is now assistant coach at the Lions after fulfilling similar roles at the Sharks, Griquas and in Japan.
Butch James, another member of the triumphant 2007 side, earned the first of 42 Test caps against France – aged 21 – in 2001, after making his Super 12 debut for the Sharks earlier that year.
He retained his Bok spot throughout the 2001 Tri-Nations series, but then underwent two major operations – one on each knee – which required long recovery time.
James made his long-awaited return to Test rugby in the 2006 Tri-Nations and, despite further injury trouble, he started 2007 as the Boks’ No 1 pivot.
Renowned for his kicking, ball distribution and his ferocious yet controversial defence, James helped nullify the influence of England No 10 Jonny Wilkinson for the Boks in the 2007 final, which they won 15-6. He retired in 2013, after stints with the Sharks, Lions, and English Premiership side Bath.