SA Rugby magazine takes a look at where the Springboks who started in the 2007 World Cup final against England are now.
15 Percy Montgomery
Following the 2007 tournament, Montgomery became the first Springbok to reach 100 caps. Montgomery retired from rugby in 2009 and joined the Bok backroom staff as a kicking consultant in that year. He has since established the Percy Montgomery Foundation with SACS, his alma mater. The foundation helps create opportunities for underprivileged children.
14 JP Pietersen
One of two players still actively playing. Pietersen would go on to perform at the 2011 and 2015 World Cups, before retiring from Test rugby in 2016. Pietersen left South Africa in 2016 for the Leicester Tigers and then joined Toulon in 2017. He returned to the Sharks this year and played in their recent Currie Cup campaign.
13 Jaque Fourie
Fourie left for Japan in 2011, where he would have stints with the Wild Knights and Kobe Steelers. After a short attempt at an international comeback, Fourie decided to retire from Test rugby in 2013. In 2017, Fourie joined the Western Force’s coaching staff and was rumoured to make a playing comeback, but that never came to fruition. Most recently, Fourie was part of the USA’s 2019 World Cup backroom staff as a defence specialist under head coach Gary Gold.
12 Frans Steyn
The only other still active player, Steyn is part of the Boks’ current World Cup squad. At 19 years old, Steyn became the youngest player to win a World Cup in 2007. He took Jean de Villers’ place at inside centre after he was ruled out of the tournament due to injury. He kicked a long-range penalty in the final to assure the Boks of victory. Steyn played in the 2011 and 2015 World Cups. He has been named on the bench for Saturday’s final.
11 Bryan Habana
Habana graduated from the Toulouse Business School and is the chief relationship officer for sports marketing agency Retroactive. Habana is also an ambassador for Mastercard, HSBC and Adidas.
10 Butch James
James retired from rugby in 2013, following his second stint with the Sharks. The former flyhalf has appeared on SuperSport as a pundit, but is also a sales director for a property development company.
9 Fourie du Preez
Ending his career as one of the best Test scrumhalves, Fourie hung up his boots in 2016 after a stint in Japan with Suntory Sungoliath. Du Preez is now involved with Fledge Capital, a private equaty firm in Pretoria.
8 Danie Rossouw
Rossouw retired in 2014 as one of the most decorated players in history, with three Currie Cups and three Super Rugby titles, a Japanese Cup and title, a Heineken Cup as well as a Top 14, Tri Nations and British & Irish Lions series triumph to go with his World Cup. After retiring, he returned to South Africa from France and set up his own safari company last year.
7 Juan Smith
After winning the World Cup, Smith had his battles with injury. He tore his achilles in 2011, ruling him out of the World Cup that year. He took a break from rugby in 2012 to recover from the injury. Smith made his comeback in 2013, but an MRI scan showed further damage and forced to him to retire that year. However, that would only prove temporary as he was persuaded to make a second comeback with Toulon, where he won back-to-back European titles and a Top 14. Smith had a short stint in Japan, but abruptly called it a day in 2017 for family reasons. He owns a butchery and farm in the Free State.
6 Schalk Burger
Burger was still an active player at the beginning of this year with Saracens. After winning the Premiership and European Champions Cup this season, he decided to leave the club and return to South Africa. He has appeared as a pundit on SuperSport during the 2019 World Cup. It is still unclear whether he intends to extend his playing career.
5 Victor Matfield
After originally retiring from the game in 2011, Matfield worked as a pundit for SuperSport and was a lineout consultant with the Vodacom Bulls. However, he came out of retirement in 2014 and signed a new contract with the Pretoria franchise. After leading the Boks in the 2015 World Cup and a subsequent season-long stint with the Northampton Saints, Matfield retired again. He was a strong contender to take over as Bulls head coach for the 2019 Super Rugby season, but pulled out of the race. He continues to appear on SuperSport’s rugby panel.
4 Bakkies Botha
The other half of the ‘Blood Brothers’, Botha retired in 2015 after playing for Toulon, finishing his career with a hat-trick of European titles. After retiring, he has started his own butchery in Pretoria, called ‘Bakkies the Butcher’.
3 CJ van der Linde
Van der Linde finished his playing career with Montpellier four years ago, but went straight into coaching with the Top 14 side. He was set to take up a role as scrum coach with Griquas this year, but instead decided to move to Japan and take a full-time scrum coaching role with the Canon Eagles, where he has previously consulted.
2 John Smit
The 2007 captain retired in 2013 after a stint with Saracens. He then moved back to Durban and took over as Sharks CEO, a position he held until 2016. He is currently the chief executive of SSG Holdings and has appeared on SuperSport during the 2019 World Cup.
1 Os du Randt
The loosehead prop was the only player in the starting lineup to retire after the 2007 World Cup, having claimed the title for a second time in his career. Du Randt went into scrum coaching with the Cheetahs and was involved in a similar capacity with the Springboks in 2009 and 2010. Currently, Du Randt has shifted his focus away from rugby and is involved with close friend Naka Drotske in TopTrim, a company which manufactures fitness and nutrition products.
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