The Springboks are the national rugby union team of South Africa. It is thought they played their first fixture on the 30th of July 1891 against a British Isles touring team.
The team made it's Rugby World Cup debut in 1995 following the fall of apartheid which saw the Boks excluded from the 1987 and 1991 tournaments. The Springboks and South Africa were the hosts in 1995 and famously went on to lift the William Webb Ellis trophy with captain Francois Pienaar receiving the trophy from President Nelson Mandela in a symbolic moment, one that would go on to be turned into Invictus, a Hollywood blockbuster starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman.
The Springboks went on to lift the trophy again in 2007, beating England in the final 16-6 in Paris, France.
In 2019, the Springboks took part at the Rugby World Cup hosted in Japan. The Boks were in a group with previous holders New Zealand, Italy, Namibia and Canada. In their initial match, they lost to the All Blacks 23-13, however, they went on to defeat all the other pool contenders. This ensured South Africa would qualify from their group in 2nd place and proceed to the 1/4 finals.
The Boks then powered on to the final defeating Japan, Wales and finally England in the final to win the William Webb Ellis trophy for the third time. It has been hailed as yet another iconic moment for South Africa with Siya Kolisi, their first ever black captain, lifting the trophy for his country.
Today the Springboks compete in The Rugby Championship, as well as hosting Summer test series and taking part at the end of season tours of the Northern Hemisphere.
South Africa's 2020 Rugby Championship Fixtures
In the summer of 2020, the Springboks were due to face Argentina, Australia and New Zealand in the annual Rugby Championship tournament, however this was delayed until November due to the coronavirus outbreak. South Africa then withdrew from the 2020 Championship as it was unclear when the team would be allowed to depart for Australia, the venue for the entire tournament.
Saturday 8th August: South Africa v Argentina - CANCELLED
Saturday 15th August: Argentina v South Africa - CANCELLED
Saturday 5th September: New Zealand v South Africa - CANCELLED
South Africa 2020 Autumn Tests
To round off 2020, South Africa will play 3 tests in the Northern Hemisphere.
Weekend of 6th November: Italy v South Africa - CANCELLED
Weekend of 13th November: Ireland v South Africa - CANCELLED
Weekend of 20th November: France v South Africa - CANCELLED
The Springboks also enjoy visits from the British & Irish Lions. They famously lost to the Lions in 1997, won the series 2-1 in 2009 and will be hosts again when the tourists come to visit in 2021.
The fixture schedule for the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour has been released and can be seen below:
Saturday, July 3: British & Irish Lions v Stormers - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Wednesday, July 7: British & Irish Lions v SA ‘Invitational’ - Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Saturday, July 10: British & Irish Lions v Sharks - Kings Park, Durban
Wednesday, July 14: British & Irish Lions v South Africa 'A' - Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Saturday, July 17: British & Irish Lions v Bulls - Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Saturday, July 24: Springboks v British & Irish Lions - FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
Saturday, July 31: Springboks v British & Irish Lions - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Saturday, August 7: Springboks v British & Irish Lions - Ellis Park, Johannesburg
The Springboks rugby shirt has been manufactured by big names, such as Cotton Traders, Nike, Canterbury and is currently produced by Japanese brand Asics.
Their team colours are green with a gold collar, white shorts and green socks. The shirt will usually sport the King Protea emblem on the left chest, Springbok on the right chest and the manufacturer logo in the centre.
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