Category Archives: South Africa

“How Newport Won the Springbok’s Head”

When the South Africans came to Britain in 1912, under the captaincy of W. A. Millar, they brought with them a stuffed Springbok’s Head, to be presented to the team who first defeated them.  They had the trophy with them at Newport on October 24th: it went no farther, for they were unexpectedly beaten… Continue reading

Posted in Clubs, Countries, South Africa, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Return of the Springbok Girl

One of the World Rugby Museum’s most beloved paintings has returned home after a long term loan period in South Africa and to celebrate we thought that we would share her tale with you… Continue reading

Posted in Museum Collection, South Africa | 1 Comment

Beginner’s Guide to The Rugby Championship

The Rugby Championship 2019 begins on Saturday so it’s the perfect time to get up to speed with the Southern Hemisphere’s round robin format tournament. Continue reading

Posted in Argentina, Australia, Countries, New Zealand, South Africa | Leave a comment

Historic Rugby Internationals: South Africa v British Isles, 1974

Rugby history beckoned at Ellis Park, Johannesburg on Saturday July 27th 1974.  The British Lions were playing the 22nd and final match of their tour and they had won all their previous matches…  Continue reading

Posted in Countries, Lions, South Africa | Leave a comment

Remembering South Africa’s International Debut

127 years ago, 21 British rugby players set sail to South Africa, captained by Scotland’s Bill Maclagan. Continue reading

Posted in Countries, International Players, Lions, South Africa | Leave a comment

Daisy, Daisy, give me some arsenic do…

1906 saw the first South African rugby tour to the United Kingdom. We are lucky enough to have a blazer from this tour on display in our World Tours Gallery.  If you do come and visit us however, don’t be fooled by the blazer’s civilised appearance, this particular garment has links to a much more grisly past… Continue reading

Posted in Countries, International Players, Museum Collection, South Africa | Leave a comment

Leon Barnard – the unlucky winger

Around 70 rugby players up to 1965 suffered the unfortunate experience of being picked to play for their country in an international or test match and, for a variety of reasons, were unable to play and were never “capped”.  The … Continue reading

Posted in South Africa | Leave a comment

Muddied Oafs of Rugby

By Sean Fagan One of the most common epithets applied to a Rugby player is that of being a “muddied oaf”. Though usually given in a light-hearted manner, and even worn with pride, it nevertheless reinforces a stereotype portraying Rugby … Continue reading

Posted in South Africa | 2 Comments

The most iconic image in the history of sport?

This photograph of Nelson Mandela awarding the 1995 Rugby World Cup to South African captain Francois Pienaar is one of the most iconic in sport and is significant on a number of levels. The tournament was a grand success and … Continue reading

Posted in Rugby World Cup, South Africa | Leave a comment

Lest We Forget – Tommy Thompson (South Africa) 20/06/1916

Among the five World War One casualties from the ranks of Springbok internationals was Gerald “Tommy” Thompson, universally known as Tommy, a balding terrier of a Western Province forward who won selection for the 1912-13 tour of the United Kingdom … Continue reading

Posted in International Players, Lest We Forget, South Africa | Leave a comment