WHO WINS? | Greatest Springbok XV v Greatest All Blacks XV

2020-04-21 12:30
All Blacks haka v Springboks (Getty Images)
All Blacks haka v Springboks (Getty Images)

Colleague Herman Mostert on Monday selected his greatest Springbok XV (plus 'Bomb Squad' substitutes) for the period 1996 to date.

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In general the article received a 'thumbs up' from Sport24's rugby-mad readers, although some did offer alternatives in a couple of positions (drop Sport24 an email at with your line-ups)

The Springboks' unforgettable 15-12 (after extra time) win over their fiercest rivals, the All Blacks, in the 1995 Rugby World Cup final at Ellis Park was not only an iconic moment in the country's history, but also signalled the start of a new era for rugby.

It was the dawn of professionalism with the sport officially turning professional at the start of the 1996 season.

It was also the birth of Sanzar, the southern hemisphere governing body formed between the rugby unions of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

The 1996 season also saw the launch of two new major tournaments - Super Rugby and the Tri-Nations.

We at Sport24 HQ like to think our Sky Sport NZ friends took note of the article and on Tuesday responded with their 'All-time All Blacks XV' in a Twitter post.

However, it must be highlighted that the All Blacks XV is 'all time' side and not only from 1996 onwards - although the vast majority have graced fields in the recent past. But replacing Colin Meads with Sam Whitelock and John Kirwan with any number of deadly All Blacks wings certainly won't weaken what is a lethal looking run-on side.

Who wouldn't salivate at the prospect of Duane Vermeulen up against Zinzan Brooke? Or Bismarck du Plessis scrumming against Sean Fitzpatrick?

Not me!

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So the million dollar question then: Who would win a 'Test' between these two sides? Who has the advantage in the backs and among the forwards?

Again, fire us an email at with your winner - and why not throw in a final score!

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Greatest Springbok XV from 1996 to date

15 Percy Montgomery, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Cobus Visagie, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Os du Randt

Greatest All Blacks XV from 1996 to date (tweaked)

15 Christian Cullen, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Jonah Lomu, 10 Dan Carter, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Zinzan Brooke, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Michael Jones, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Olo Brown, 2 Sean Fitzpatrick 1 Tony Woodcock


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