World Cup team overview: Springboks

Ahead of the 2023 World Cup draw on Monday afternoon, check out the official team overview for the defending champion Springboks.

COACH: Jacques Nienaber
CAPTAIN: Siya Kolisi
NICKNAME: Springboks

Debut: vs Australia on 25 May 1995
Appearances: 7 – 1995-2019
Record: Played 43 – Won 36 Drawn 0 Lost 7
Best placing: Champions in 1995, 2007 and 2019
Points for/against: 1,512/553
Tries for/against: 174/37
Most RWC appearances: 20 – Schalk Burger
Top RWC points-scorer: 162 – Handre Pollard
Top RWC try-scorer: 15 – Bryan Habana

> South Africa are one of two host nations to face the defending champions in their opening match – their first Rugby World Cup match was against 1991 champions Australia
> South Africa’s three Rugby World Cup successes each came 12 years apart
> The Springboks scored their first tries in their third RWC final in 2019
> Bryan Habana shares the record for most RWC tries (15) with Jonah Lomu. The Springbok wing, though, has scored the most tries in the tournament’s pool stage with 13

> South Africa have never been drawn in a pool with Argentina, France or Ireland
> South Africa became the only team to lose a pool match and lift the Webb Ellis Cup in 2019, bouncing back from a 23-13 loss to New Zealand in their opening match
> The Springboks have only lost three pool matches in seven tournaments, against England (2003), Japan (2015) and New Zealand (2019)
> South Africa have scored a try in 25 of their 26 pool matches, a 25-6 defeat by England in 2003 the exception
> The Springboks have not been in the same pool as Australia since their RWC Cup debut in 1995
> South Africa have only met Fiji and Wales once in a pool, both at RWC 2011
> The Springboks’ only pool meeting with Japan ended in defeat in 2015
> South Africa met Italy for the first time in RWC history at Japan 2019, winning 49-3
> South Africa have twice been in the same pool as Scotland, in 1999 and 2015
> Their most common opponent in a pool stage is Samoa, having been drawn with the Pacific Islanders in four of their seven tournaments.

Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

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Dylan Jack