How many times did South Africa win the Rugby World Cup?

South Africa are one of the best rugby nations of all time as well as being one of the most successful. 

How many times did South Africa win the Rugby World Cup? South Africa have won the Rugby World Cup three times, in 1995, 2003 and 2019. They are the current holders of the Rugby World Cup. 

South Africa have the joint second highest record in the Rugby World Cup having won the competition three times. It started off back in 1995 which was their first World Cup. South Africa were barred from competing in the World Cup due to Apartheid.

Did South Africa win the 1995 Rugby World Cup? 

In their first World Cup appearance, South Africa began with a statement win against reigning holders Australia in their first game in a World Cup. The win was mainly down to 22 points from Joel Stransky as South Africa won 27-18. 

After two more group stage victories, South Africa progressed to the quarter-finals and four tries from Chester Williams helped to sink Western Samoa in a dominant victory. The Semi-Final was a much closer affair but the Springboks managed to just beat France 19-15 to advance to the final. 

Their 15-12 win in extra time against New Zealand is seen as one of the best accomplishments in the history of South African sport. The Springboks team won the title in their first World Cup appearance, just one year after Apartheid was abolished. The tournament was held in South Africa and is a great moment in the country’s history.

Did South Africa win the 2007 Rugby World Cup? 

After failing to reach the final at the next two tournaments, South Africa started the 2007 World Cup with four wins in the group stage including beating reigning world champions England 36-0 in their second group game. They had a flawless record after the four group games. 

Having eased past Fiji in the quarter-final, South Africa smashed Argentina in the semi-final, beating the Pumas 37-13 in a game that was never really close. Having already beaten England in the tournament, South Africa were confident heading into the final. It was a much closer affair the second time round. 

But the Springboks claimed a 15-6 victory in a final that was decided by the boot. It gave South Africa their second title, but it took a while to get their third as New Zealand began dominating world rugby. 

Did South Africa win the 2019 Rugby World Cup?

This domination led to South Africa failing to make the final at the 2011 and 2015 World Cup. It looked like more of the same at the 2019 tournament in Japan as South Africa lost their first game to New Zealand. The Springboks did respond with three straight bonus point victories. 

South Africa then defeated the home side Japan in the Quarter-Final, revenge after Japan’s historic defeat of South Africa at the 2015 World Cup. The Semi-Final was a difficult one for South Africa, with a 76th-minute penalty from Handre Pollard being the winner to send South Africa to their third World Cup final. 

The final was a repeat of the 2007 final and it was another result for South Africa. In what was a close game for the first 60 minutes, tries from Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kolbe took the result completely out of England’s reach and gave South Africa their third World Cup title. 

It means that South Africa are tied with New Zealand on three World Cup titles, with no country having more than three titles. It also means that South Africa have won all three of the World Cup Finals that they have been to, the only team to have won a World Cup title but never lost in a final. 

Who is South Africa Rugby’s head coach? 

In January of 2020, Jacques Nienaber was announced as the new head coach of the Springboks, taking over a World Cup-winning team. It was actually the first time that Nienaber became a head coach having only been an assistant coach previously. 

Originally starting off as a physiotherapist, Nienaber took over the role of strength and conditioning coach at the Cheetahs in South Africa and this is when he first worked under Rassie Erasmus. Their time at Cheetahs would be the start of a long coaching relationship that Erasmus and Nienaber had. 

Nienaber would follow Erasmus to the Stormers in Super Rugby. But Nienaber would also be getting attention of his own and was included in the coaching staff for the 2011 World Cup. South Africa lost in the quarter-final to Australia. 

He would remain with the Stormers until the end of 2014 to join South Africa as an assistant on a full-time basis. But after the 2015 World Cup, he would again follow Erasmus, taking his first role in Europe as an assistant with Munster. 

Nienaber would once again become a Springboks assistant in 2018 and was on the staff when South Africa won the World Cup in 2019. At the start of 2020, Nienaber was announced as head coach of the team but did not lead them out until July 2021 due to Covid-19. 

Nienaber coached South Africa to a 2-1 series victory over the British and Irish Lions, despite having lost the first test. 

Is Rassie Erasmus the head coach of South Africa? 

Rassie Erasmus is not the head coach of the South African rugby team, that role is held by his former assistant Jacques Nienaber. Erasmus took the role of head coach in March 2018. His time with South Africa featured a lot of mixed results, with South Africa losing to all three teams in the 2018 Rugby Championship. 

But one year later, Rassie Erasmus led the Springboks to their third World Cup title after a 32-12 victory over England in the final. This was his last game as head coach as Erasmus made it clear that he never wanted the job long-term. 

Instead, Erasmus has been South Africa’s Director of Rugby since 2017, taking the job after leaving Munster. After giving up the job, he retained his role and gave the head coach job to his former assistant Nienaber. 

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