The Springboks have enjoyed many magical moments on the biggest stage of them all since they shook up the world in their triumphant maiden appearance in the global showpiece in 1995, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.
As excitement continues to build for the 2019 Rugby World Cup that kicks off in Japan on September 20, we take a trip down memory lane in a six-part series in which we highlight the Springboks’ most memorable World Cup moments.
Twelve years after their maiden triumph on home soil, the Springboks reclaimed the coveted Webb Ellis Cup in France. When Jake White was appointed head coach in 2004, following the previous year’s disastrous World Cup campaign, his end goal was global supremacy in 2007.
It was an ambitious goal, with the Springboks in an all-time low sixth place in the world rankings and with White having to pick up the pieces and build an all-new squad.
That dream became reality in Paris, where a by then transformed, settled and vastly experienced Springbok team led by John Smit defeated England in the final to clinch their second world title.