Famous South African Rugby Players

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite South African Rugby Players

 1 Victor Matfield

Victor Matfield.
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: May 11, 1977
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Polokwane

Victor Matfield is a South African former rugby union player who captained the national team as well as the Blue Bulls. Widely regarded as one of the greatest locks in the history of South African rugby, Matfield was extremely successful at disrupting opposition line-outs, a skill that helped his team win the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

 2 Schalk Burger

Schalk Burger.
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: April 13, 1983
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Port Elizabeth

Schalk Burger was born to an international rugby player, also named Schalk Burger. As part of the South African national rugby team, he won the 2007 Rugby World Cup and was declared the South African Rugby Player of the Year twice. He also works at his Western Cape wine estate.

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 3 Francois Hougaard

Francois Hougaard.
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: April 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paarl

A skilled scrum-half for the Worcester Warriors, South African rugby player Francois Hougaard is known for his ability to tackle defenses. His pace has often made him a good choice for the wing. He was also part of the bronze-winning South African team at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

 4 Damian de Allende

Damian de Allende.
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: November 25, 1991
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cape Town

Apart from the South African team, rugby player Damian de Allende also plays for the United Rugby team Munster. Part of the 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning team, he made more runs than any other Springbok player in the tournament. He was also signed by the Panasonic Wild Knights.

 5 François Steyn

François Steyn.
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: May 14, 1987
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bloemfontein

François Steyn made history when he became the youngest player to score a Rugby World Cup win, with South Africa’s win over England in 2007. With the 2019 win, he became the first two-time World Cup-winner from his country. He was part of the 2008 Laureus World Team of the Year.

 6 Lood de Jager

Lood de Jager
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: December 17, 1992
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Alberton

Born to working-class parents, Lood de Jager began his youth rugby career with the likes of the Leopards and the Cheetahs. He then established himself as a dependable lock in the South African national team and the English Premiership club Sale Sharks. He is also known for his 6’9” frame.

 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit

Pieter-Steph du Toit
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: August 20, 1992
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cape Town

Pieter-Steph du Toit, a popular lock for the South African national rugby team and was also part of the 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning team. The Stormers player almost had to have a leg amputated after suffering a serious injury in a game against the Auckland Blues in 2020.

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 8 Willie le Roux

Willie le Roux
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: August 18, 1989
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Stellenbosch

Nicknamed Majaivane, meaning the “one who is always dancing,” South African rugby player Willie le Roux plays both for the national team and the club Toyota Verblitz. He has established himself as a dependable fullback/wing/fly-half and was part of the 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning team.

 9 Patrick Lambie

Patrick Lambie
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Famous As: South African rugby player
Birthdate: October 17, 1990
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Durban, South Africa
Patrick Lambie is a retired South African professional rugby union player who played for the Natal Sharks for most of his career. He was a versatile player and could play as flyhalf, centre and fullback. He was the leading points scorer in the 2009 ABSA U21 Currie Cup. In 2011, he won SARU Young Player of the Year award. He last played for Racing 92 in the French Top 14.

 10 Bismarck du Plessis

Bismarck du Plessis
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: May 22, 1984
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Free State

Currently a member of the French rugby club Montpellier, South African hooker Bismarck du Plessis began his professional career at the age of nineteen with Free State Cheetahs. Debuting for the national team with Under-19 squad, he was later called to join the Springboks for the 2007 Rugby World Cup, making a total of eighty-four appearances for them till 2015.

 11 Morné Steyn

Morné Steyn
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: July 11, 1984
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cape Town

South African fly-half Morné Steyn is known for his association with the Bulls and his national team. He first gained attention with his penalty kick that defeated the British & Irish Lions in a 2009 Test match. With 62 points, he was the highest scorer in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

 12 Jannie du Plessis

Jannie du Plessis
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Famous As: Rugby union player, Physician
Birthdate: November 16, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Free State

South African rugby player Jannie du Plessis has played for teams such as the Golden Lions and the Free State Cheetahs. He has been part of the French rugby club Montpellier, too. Apart from being a sportsperson, he is also a qualified physician and has practiced as a doctor too.

 13 JP Pietersen

JP Pietersen
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: July 12, 1986
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stellenbosch

JP Pietersen is a South African rugby player who represents the Sharks in the Currie Cup. He has also represented the South African national team, playing 69 tests for the team. He helped South Africa win their second Rugby World Cup in 2007. JP Pietersen was also selected for the 2011 Rugby World Cup where South Africa reached the quarter-finals.

 14 Pierre Spies

Pierre Spies
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: June 8, 1985
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pretoria

Pierre Spies is a South African former rugby player who played for the South African national team from 2006 to 2013. He also represented the Bulls at Super Rugby where he spent the majority of his career. Renowned for his great strength, Spies was adjudged South Africa's Sportsman of the Year and Most Promising Player of the Year in 2008.

 15 Josh Strauss

Josh Strauss
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: October 23, 1986
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bellville

Josh Strauss is a South African-born Scotland rugby player. Strauss has been an important player for the Scotland national team since 2015. He also plays for the Bulls at Super Rugby. In 2015, Josh Strauss was named in the 31-man squad to represent Scotland in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. 

 16 Trevor Nyakane

Trevor Nyakane
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Famous As: Rugby union player
Birthdate: May 4, 1989
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bushbuckridge

Born to a footballer father, Trevor Nyakane initially wished to follow in his father’s footsteps but later chose rugby. He lost his mother to cancer at 15. Apart from the South African national rugby team, he also plays for the Bulls and the Cheetahs. He was mentored by Os du Randt.

 17 Danie Craven

Danie Craven
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Famous As: Rugby Union Player
Birthdate: October 11, 1910
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Lindley, South Africa
Died: January 4, 1993

Legendary South African rugby player and coach Danie Craven, also known as Mr. Rugby, boasted of three doctorates and headed the physical education department of the University of Stellenbosch. He was often criticized for doing little to end the segregation in the apartheid-era rugby of South Africa.

 18 Tom van Vollenhoven

Tom van Vollenhoven
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Famous As: Rugby Union Player
Birthdate: April 29, 1935
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bethlehem, South Africa
Died: October 21, 2017

South African rugby player Tom van Vollenhoven is remembered for his stint with the English club St. Helens. Playing against the British Lions, he became the first Springbok to score a hat-trick on South African soil. He is revered as one of the greatest wingers of rugby league.

 19 Corra Dirksen

Corra Dirksen
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Famous As: Rugby player
Birthdate: January 22, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vereeniging, Union of South Africa
Died: July 10, 2020

South African rugby player Corra Dirksen was once known as The Monster for his aggressive game. He was part of 10 Tests for the Springboks. Post-retirement, he became a practicing doctor. He contracted COVID-19 at age 82, while still working as a doctor, and eventually died of the disease.

 20 Wilco Froneman

Wilco Froneman.
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Famous As: Rugby Player, Jonathan Van Ness’ Boyfriend
Birthdate: 1986 AD
Birthplace: South Africa

Better known as the former boyfriend of Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness, Wilco Froneman is a South African rugby player associated with the New York Gotham Knights. He once dressed up as a drag queen as part of a fundraiser and has also been seen at award functions with Van Ness.