Rugby Players

Best 6 Rugby Players to Ever Emerge from South Africa

South Africa has historically been an African rugby powerhouse, with many homegrown rugby legends emerging for testimony.

Aside from football, rugby counts as top among the most followed sports in South Africa, with thousands of rugby enthusiasts leveraging elite bookmaker apps like Betway (extensively reviewed on to stake on their favorite rugby fixtures.

This article discusses six of the best rugby players to emerge from South Africa.

Andre Venter

Andre Venter is one of the greatest South African rugby players. Born November 14, 1970, he played as a Flanker for the national team between 1996 and 2001. Both teammates and fans regard Venter as the fittest and hardest player to wear the national team jersey. 

Meanwhile, he played 66 games for South Africa and scored 45 points. He was crucial to the national team at the 1999 Rugby World Cup, where they came third after beating New Zealand. At the club level, he scored 195 points in 161 combined caps for Free State and Cheetahs Cats in his Ten-year career. 

Both opponents and teammates see him as one of the best flankers in rugby. However, Venter became a wheelchair user after his retirement. He had a nervous disease that damaged his spine. 

Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield is one of the best Locks who ever played for the South African national rugby team. Born on May 11, 1977, the former Springboks’ captain was famous for constantly disrupting the opposition line-out, a key skill to their 2007 World Cup triumph. 

Meanwhile, he scored 35 points in 134 outings for the senior national team and 110 points in 253 games at the club level. Despite retiring for over 2 years after the 2011 World Cup, Matfield maintained his high form upon his return. 

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Aside from winning the 2007 World Cup, Matfield was the IRB player of the tournament. He also had 3 Currie Cups, 3 Super 14 titles, and 2 Tri-Nations trophies. His name was installed in the University of Pretoria Hall of fame in 2008.

Mark Andrews

Mark Gregory Andrews is one of the toughest South African rugby team Locks during his career and can also switch to the number 8 position. 

Born on February 21, 1972, Andrews started making waves in the sport from his college days, winning the Currie Cup in 1995 and 1996.

Following his 1994 test debut against England, he represented South Africa 77 times and scored 66 points. 

Andrews helped the team to the Rugby World Cup championship in 1995, the first World Cup won by the South African team. Also, he played for the Newcastle Falcons in England before his retirement. 

Hannes Marais 

Johannes Frederick Klopper Marais was born on September 21, 1941, and played for the South African Rugby team between 1963 and 1974. 

Hannes started playing as a Loose Forward before Danie Craven turned him into a Prop. He was the national team captain, playing 35 games with 3 points. 

In 1963, he debuted against Australia, served as vice-captain in 1970, and became the captain in 1971. 

Hannes led the team to an Australian tour unbeaten run in 1971 despite the political situation at home. He retired after the France match in 1974 and was the team’s selector from 1982 and 1995.

Frans Steyn 

Frans Steyn was born on May 14, 1987, and still plays for the South Africa national rugby team. 

He switches between wing, inside center, and fullback positions and is famous for his solid tackles and long-range kicks. Steyn is the youngest player to win a rugby world cup. 

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In 2007, he debuted for the Sharks and was vital to the Springboks World Cup-winning team. He also helped the national team defeat the British and Irish Lions in 2009. 

In 2019, he won the second World Cup with the Springboks, becoming one of the rugby players with multiple World Cups, the second in South Africa.

Steyn currently has 76 caps for South Africa with 150 points scored. Also, he has played for Sharks, Cheetahs, Racing Metro, Toshiba Brave Lupus, and Montpellier at the senior level, with over 170 appearances and over 480 points. 

Os Du Randt

Jacobus Petrus “Os” du Randt is one of the greatest South African rugby players and played as a Loosehead Prop for them between 1994 and 2007. 

Born on September 8, 1972, he is one of the 21 players to have won multiple Rugby World Cups and the first in South Africa. 

Meanwhile, he debuted for the Springboks in the 1994 victory over Argentina and helped the team to their first World Cup in 1995. 

However, he was forced to retire in 2000 due to injuries. He made a comeback about 3 years later and won his second World Cup in 2007.

His last game was the 2007 final against New Zealand, appearing 80 times for the Boks with 25 points. He was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame in 2019.

Conclusively, rugby is one of the famous sports in South Africa, and many great players have played for the Springboks. 

We have listed the likes of Mark Andrews, Os Du Randt, and others that have defended the green and white jersey of the South African national team. Interestingly, two are among the elite multiple Rugby World Cup winners. 

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