The Springboks boast a remarkable Rugby World Cup pedigree.
Having missed the first two tournaments in 1987 and 1991, the Springboks memorably won the first time they did participate – in 1995 at home.
They have gone on to emerge victorious on a further two occasions – 2007 (in France) and 2019 (in Japan).
Below, a closer look at how the Springboks have done in their previous seven Rugby World Cup pool campaigns ahead of the draw for the 2023 tournament on Monday, December 14.
– The Springboks have successfully negotiated the pool stage at all seven World Cups they have participated in, losing only three matches. They have only been beaten by England (2003), Japan (2015) and New Zealand (2019).
– At the 2019 World Cup, South Africa became the first team to lift the Webb Ellis Cup after losing a pool match. In their opening game, they lost 23-13 against New Zealand.
– The Springboks have scored at least one try in 25 of their 26 World Cup pool matches. The exception is their 25-6 defeat to England at the 2003 World Cup.
– South Africa’s biggest World Cup victory was by 87 points (87-0) against Namibia in the pool stage of the 2011 World Cup.
– South Africa’s biggest comeback win during a World Cup pool stage was in their opening match at the 2011 World Cup. After going 16-10 down against Wales in the 55th minute, they came back to win 17-16.
– Bryan Habana is the record try-scorer in World Cup pool matches. He scored 13 tries across three World Cups (2007, 2011, 2015).
HANDRE POLLARD IS SA’S RECORD RWC POOL SCORER
– The record point-scorer for South Africa in World Cup pool matches is Handré Pollard with 68 points. He went past Percy Montgomery (67) during South Africa’s match against Italy at the 2019 World Cup.
– Jaque Fourie and Bryan Habana have each scored a try in a record seven different World Cup pool stage matches.
– Victor Matfield and Schalk Burger both played in a South African record four World Cups. Burger and John Smit have played in the most World Cup pool matches for the Boks (12).
– South Africa have never fielded a teenager in a World Cup (pool) match. The youngest Springbok in a World Cup match is Frans Steyn who debuted in the tournament aged 20 years and 118 days old against Samoa at the 2007 World Cup.
– Aged 38 years and 145 days old, Schalk Brits became the oldest player for a Rugby Championship or Six Nations team to play at a World Cup match when he faced Canada at the 2019 World Cup. Brits broke a record set by Argentina’s Mario Ledesma at the 2011 World Cup and matched by Brits’ compatriot Victor Matfield at the 2015 World Cup by seven days.
– The Springboks have been drawn with Samoa the most in World Cup pools, meeting them in the pool stage at four of their seven World Cups.
– South Africa have never been drawn in the same World Cup pool as Argentina, France, Ireland or Russia.