Part 4 and people must be getting tired but we almost there.
40. Bismarck Du Plessis (Hooker) 7 July 2007-
Du Plessis has firmly established himself as a tough as nails hooker in the mould of the Boks of old. His ever improving performances have given both Sharks and Springbok selectors a headache when it comes to choosing between himself and John Smit. Already third on the most capped Bok hokers list and with youth on his side, Bismarck will be the first choice hooker post World cup and beyond.
39. Boy Louw (Prop) 18 Aug 1928-10 Sep 1938
He made his debut at lock back in 1928 against New Zealand, but Boy (Matthys Michael Louw) was such a versatile player that he was picked and played at Eightman, flank and prop for the Springboks. A dedicated student of the game and the laws, Louw played most (13) of his 18 Test matches for the Boks at Loose Head Prop.
38. Rob Louw (Flank) 26 Apr 1980-27 Oct 1984
The blond WP loose forward is remembered as a mobile flanker; with enough pace, ball handling and game reading ability to put most centres to shame. He scored five tries for the Boks, including two memorable touchdowns against the Lions in the 1980 series win. Louw had a habit of popping up all over the pitch, and was as much loved off the field as he was on it.
37. Gerrie Germishuys (Wing) 22 Jun 1974-20 Sep 1981
With his receding hairline, Gerrie Germishuys might have fooled opposing defenders into thinking he was getting on in years but he had sublime pace and his 12 tries (including a famous one against the All Blacks in 1981) still see him in the Bok top 20 try scorers of all time. He played alongside greats like Danie Gerber, Naas Botha and Gysie Pienaar, and was never a weak link.
36. Rassie Erasmus (Flank) 5 Jul 1997-23 June 2001
A veteran of 36 Test Rassie Erasmus was a critical member of the first Bok team to win the Tri Nations, in 1998. He scored seven tries, skippered the Boks on one occasion and is acknowledged as having one of the best rugby brains of his generation. His tactical approach to the game helped him to a successful coaching career with Free State and the Stormers, and he is currently part of the Boks’ technical coaching team
35. Kobus Wiese (Lock) 26 Jun 1993-15 Dec 1996
Wiese was a giant lock who relished physical confrontation. These days he’s in the mix as a mild mannered rugby commentator, but who could forget the Test in 1995 when Wiese knocked Welsh player and line out go to guy Derwyn Jones out with a punch in the 4th minute. Wiese was also a member of the 1995 RWC squad and played in 5 matches.
34. Jan Ellis (Flank) 31 Jul 1965-24 Jul 1976
Another outspoken Springbok, Jan Ellis’ comments often attracted attention for the wrong reasons. However, on the rugby field he formed a legendary flank partnership with Piet Greyling that lasted for 25 Test. Of the two, Ellis was the faster more powerful, roving flank, and his record of seven tries in 38 Test (For a forward) stood until Mark Andrews broke it in 1997.
33. Hennie Muller (Eightman) 16 July 1949-26 Sept 1953
Nicknamed “Windhond” legend has it that Hennie Muller was the fastest forward ever to wear a Bok jersey. His defensive forocity and exceptional pace often disrupted the linking play between the opposition’s forwards and backs. He captained the Boks in nine Test (winning Eight) and his exploits on the rugby pitch ensured his place in the International Rugby Hall of Fame.
32. Mof Myburgh (Prop) 23 Jun 1962-12 Sep 1970
In his day, Mof (Johannes Lodwikus) Myburgh was considered a pwerhouse, and he often outmuscled his opponents. In a set piece where locks always get more credit than props, the line out-Myburgh was an invaluable asset to his teammates. Myburgh was part of a pretty formidable Bok team, which included Mannetjies Roux, John Gainsford, Doug Hopwood and his bosom friend, Frik du Preez.
31. Bakkies Botha (Lock) 9 Nov 1999-
Widely known as “The Enforcer”, Botha’s nickname speaks for itself. Hugely physical, he often ends up at the wrong end of a referee’s whistle, but that doesn’t stop him from always giving 100%. Respected and feared by opponents in equal measure, Botha is staunch on defence, destroys at the breakdown, and when paired with Victor Matfield, unparalleled in the line-out. He nees to play just three more Test to be the second most capped Bok lock behinkd Victor Matfield.
30. Balie Swart (Prop) 31 Jul 1993-3 Aug 1996
Swart was a key member of the 1995 RWC winning squad and held his own in the toughest encounters. Renowned for his scrummaging ability, Swart always gave opposing front rankers a torrid time-he was also able to play on both sides of the scrum. He later went on to assist in the Bok coaching set up and also worked for SA Rugby, assisting coaches and referees with scrum laws.
29. Chester Williams (Wing) 13 Nov 1993-26 Nov 2000
Despite missing much of the tournament due to injury, Chester was one of the stars of the 95 RWC. The first Bok player of colour since Errol Tobias and Avril Williams in the 80′s, he also became the first Bok to score four tries in a match, which he did in the Western Samoa RWC Quarter Final. Before succumbing to chronic knee injuries he was a world class finisher and scored 20 Test Tries.
28. Henry Honiball (Flyhalf) 21 Aug 1993-4 Nov 1999
With 27 of his Test Caps earned at pivot, “Lem” is the thrid most capped Bok flyhalf. Honiball is regarded as one of the greatest running and defensive flyhalves in SA rugby history, and was best known for his bone crunching tackles. Pinpoint distribution and vision were also part of his arsenal, and his nickname, which means “blade” in Afrikaans refers to his ability to cut through defences.
27. James Small (Wing) 15 Aug 1992-6 Dec 1997
Small had a notorious short fuse, which made for a very temperamental player. His natural ability couldn’t be denied, however and he was part of the 95 RWC winning squad, successfully marking Jonah Lomu on defence, which was no “small” feat. At domestic level, he won three Currie cups and was the top try scorer of the 1996 Super 12 competition.
26. Ruben Kruger (Flank) 6 Nov 1993-4 Nov 1999
Kruger, the “Silent assassin”, was named the SA Rugby Player of the Year in 1995, the same year the Boks won the World Cup, which was a testament to his phenomenal contribution in the victorious campaign. In 2000 tragedy struck, when after being carried off the field due to a hard knock, it was discovered that Kruger had a brain tumour. Barely 10 years later, the cancerous tumour caused his untimely death.
25. Jean de Villiers (Centre) 9 Nov 2002-
Master of the intercept, Jean de Villiers possesses the uncanny ability to create tries against the run of play. Despite suffering a number of serious injuries in his career, he holds the record for the most Test by a Bok centre (51). In the Boks’ opening 2007 RWC game against Samoa he suffered a torn bicep that ruled him out of the tournament. He bounced back a year later, when he was named SA rugby Player of the Year and Player’s Player of the Year.
24. Jaque Fourie (Centre) 11 Oct 2003-
Along with Stormers teammate Jean de Villiers, Fourie is part of SA rugby’s most capped centre pairing. In 2009, Fourie was named as the winner of the IRB Try of the Year for his match and series winning try against the British & Irish Lions, when he came on as a late replacement and steamrolled over Ronan O Gara and two more defenders to score. Currently Fourie is third on the Bok all time scorers list with 30 tries.
23. Juan Smith (Flank) 7 June 2003-
The Free State favourite is the most capped Bok flank of all time, having played 56 Test in that position (he’s also played a couple at no 8). He’s regarded as one of the world’s best blindside flankers, and he always stamps his authority on the field with his physical presence and formidable defence. Smith’s versatility also makes him a dependable line out jumper, and a workhorse at the breakdown. He was part of the 2007 RWC winning squad.
22. Ray Mordt (Wing) 26 Apr 1980-27 Oct 1984
Remembered as one of the more powerful Bok wings, Mordt scored a hat trick against the All Blacks in the infamous “flour bomb” test in Auckland. He first played provincial rugby for Rhodesia before moving to Transvaal and then Northern Transvaal. As a Springbok he was a prolific try scorer, dotting down 12 times in just 18 Test-these included the aforementioned hat trick as well as another trio of tries in the 1981 Test against the USA.
21. Morne Du Plessis (Eightman) 17 Jul 1971-8 Nov 1980
Morne du Plessis played during the height of international isolation, and made the most of the playing opportunities he was afforded. A natural leader; he was Bok captain in 15 Test, 13 of which SA won-these included Series victories against both the British Lions and the All Blacks. During the 95 RWC he was the Springbok manager, and his leadership skills helped unify the side. For his contribution to the game he was inducted into the Rugby Hall of Fame in 1999.
20. Gary Teichmann (Eightman) 2 Sep 1995-10 Jul 1999
His humility and courage ensured Gary Teichmann’s status as one of the great gentleman of the game and a true ambassador of the sport. The Boks fourished under the eightman’s leadership-he was a man of few words, who opted to lead by example rather by talking. He remains the most capped no8 in Springbok history, having played all 42 Test at the back of the scrum. During Teichmann’s reign as skipper the Springboks won 26 of 36 matches, including a world record-equalling 17 Test unbeaten streak. He led the Boks in the three Test series against the British & Irish Lions in 1997, to a then record 61-22 drubbing of Australia, a 52-10 thrashing of France in Paris, a 29-11 victory over England at Twickenham and a 68-10 pasting of Scotland at Murrayfield that same year. In 1998, SA shut out Ireland 33-0, crushed Wales 96-13 and won their first ever Tri Nations title in a unbeaten campaign that included an historic 13-3 win over new Zealand in Wellington. Teichmann enjoyed a brilliant individual season that year as well and was rewarded by being named SA Player of the Year. He was a prominent ball carrier, a tenacious defender and a solid option in the line out. In 1999 Teichmann was controversially dropped from the squad shortly before the World Cup, a decision that marked the beginning of the end of his career and one that then coach Nick Mallett later admitted had been a mistake.
19. HO De Villiers (Fullback) 15 Jul 1967-24 Jan 1970
HO de Villiers is widely regarded as the man who revolutionised fullback play with his willingness to attack at all times in an era when fullbacks were expected to kick the ball whenever they were in possession. He was a natural talent with loads of physical ability and courage, and has gone down in the annals of SA rugby as one of the greatest fullbacks of all time.
18. Andre Venter (Flanker) 17 Aug 1996-1 Dec 2001
Venter-joined second in the list of most capped Bok flankers was known as an impressive carrier of the ball who had deceptive pace. He relished the physical aspect of the game and was known as a brutal defender. His remarkable conditioning and unrivalled fitness is the stuff of legend, with many considering him the fittest ever Springbok.
17. Mannetjies Roux (Centre) 3 Dec 1960-12 Sep 1970
The great Doc Craven said of the midfield star: “With Mannetjies Roux on your side, you could take on the world.” In a career that spanned 10 years, Roux was a Bok Mainstay, terrorising opponents with his great pace and ferocious defence, despite his lack of size. He played in 27 Test and scored six tries during his Bok Career.
16. Bryan Habana (Wing) 20 Nov 2004-
Habana’s scintillating pace, flair and unpredictability make him one of the game’s most elusive attackers. He often creates something out of nothing, an attribute that saw him become the joint top try scorer in a single World Cup (Eight in 07) and the Boks’ joint best with 38 tries. Habana was the SA Player of the Year in ’05 and ’07, and the IRB Player of the Year ’07.