How would you rank these successful Springbok teams from the last 25 years?
Over the past 25 years, Springboks of different generations have recorded an array of achievements, including three world titles.
Kitch Christie coached the Springboks to their historic inaugural Rugby World Cup title in 1995. His tenure as head coach between 1994 and 1996 included a then record of 14 consecutive victories. Christie remains the only coach since readmission to boast a 100% win ratio.
Nick Mallett took over as Springbok coach in 1997 and under his guidance, the Springboks went on a record-winning run of 17 consecutive Test victories, which included their first Tri-Nations title in 1998 – during which they went undefeated.
Mallett guided the Boks to record wins over several northern-hemisphere opponents and his tenure also included a bronze medal at the 1999 World Cup. To date, Mallett remains the most successful Bok coach post isolation, with a win ratio of 71%.
Jake White was appointed as head coach following a forgettable 2003 season, and oversaw immediate success with the Boks, who claimed the 2004 Tri-Nations series – their first title since 1998. Under White, the Boks also went on a lengthy run of home victories which included a first win over the All Blacks at Newlands since 1976.
The Boks proceeced to claim their second World Cup title under White’s stewardship in 2007, before he ended his tenure as Springbok coach with 36 victories from 54 Tests – a win ratio of 67%.
Peter de Villiers took over from White in 2008 and while his first season in charge produced mixed results, the Boks achieved their first win in New Zealand for over ten years.
In 2009, De Villiers led the Boks to a memorable series victory over the British & Irish Lions, as well as their third Tri-Nations title, following five victories from six matches against the All Blacks and Wallabies.
Under De Villiers, the Boks won five of 11 Tests against their great rivals, the All Blacks. De Villiers departed his role following the Boks’ controversial quarter-final defeat by Australia at the 2011 World Cup, ending his time in charge with a 63% win ratio from 48 Tests.
Rassie Erasmus’ tenure as head coach undoubtedly brought a resurgence in Springbok rugby following a disappointing few seasons prior to his appointment. This resurgence has been well documented in recent times, with the Boks winning 17 of their 26 Tests under Erasmus.
This included a home series victory over England in 2018, before a second-place finish during that season’s Rugby Championship following a thrilling victory over the All Blacks – their first win in New Zealand since 2009. The Boks bounced back after a mixed end-of-year tour in 2018 to claim their fourth southern-hemisphere title last year, and their first since the inception of the Rugby Championship.
Against all the odds, the Boks went on to lift their third World Cup title in November of 2019 following a dominant victory over England, before Erasmus handed over the reins of Bok head coach to long-time colleague Jacques Nienaber earlier this year.