As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Springboks winning Rugby World Cup 1995 at their first attempt at a World Cup, we thought it would be interesting to try to trace these legends of South African rugby down to see what they are doing now.
Some of these players were fortunate in that they were still young enough to embrace and take advantage of the new professional era which followed the 1995 Rugby World Cup, whilst others retired from the game and followed their original professions. We trust that will you find what we have found out about this Rugby World Cup winning team and their current whereabouts to be fun and informative.
The RWC95 Springboks – Where are they now?
15. Andre Joubert: Andre was famously given the nickname of “The Rolls Royce of fullbacks” during Rugby World Cup 1995. He now spends his days as the owner and manager of an office automation store in Durban. Rumour has it that when he sat in the decompression chamber to accelerate the healing of a broken bone in his hand during the World Cup, he complained of boredom. Team mate Mark Andrews decided to join Andre in the chamber, after which Andre complained that it was even more boring..
11. Chester Williams: The man known as the “Black Pearl” to South African Rugby fans has spent his life after playing the game coaching it. He has had coaching assignments in various places, including the Cats in Super Rugby, South African 7’s, Uganda, Tunisia and a club in Romania.
14. James Small: James occupies himself in the restaurant business in Cape Town as an owner of a restaurant.
13. Japie Mulder: He is now an employee at a telecommunications infrastructure company.
12. Hennie le Roux: Hennie founded the South African Rugby Players Association after the World Cup. Along with his wife, he owns a luxury river safari lodge outside of his old hometown of Grahamstown.
10. Joel Stransky: The man who beat Andrew Mehrtens in a kicking duel on the day of the final and kicked “that” drop goal that separated the two sides. He is currently a commentator at SuperSport as well as a Director in a capital management company. He also competes successfully in the “Tour de France” of mountain biking, the Cape Epic. He fell while training early in January and broke his collar bone and is working hard at being ready for his next Epic.
9. Joost Van Der Westhuizen: After the end of his career in 2003, Joost worked as a commentator and analyst for SuperSport. As any rugby lover knows, Joost’s current situation is very sad as he is in the advanced stages of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Motor Neuron Disease as it is also known. He spends his days with his charity work, the J9 Foundation, which focuses on ALS/MND issues.
8. Mark Andrews: Mark is involved with former Springbok captain Gary Teichman in supplying mining equipment into Africa.
7. Ruben Kruger: Ruben owned a camera franchise in Pretoria until he sadly passed away in January 2010 after a long fight against brain cancer.
6. Francois Pienaar: The inspirational leader of the Springboks spent time at Saracens after the Rugby World Cup, both as a player/coach as well as taking over the reigns as CEO. He was also instrumental in the creation and establishment of the very popular Varsity Cup and lead South Africa’s ultimately failed bid for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. He had a very close relationship with former South African President, Nelson Mandela, whom he named as God Father to one of his sons. The movie Invictus (the poem was Nelson Mandela’s favourite) tries to touch on the importance of the Rugby World Cup to South Africa at the time.
5. Hannes Strydom: Hannes is a successful pharmacist who owns 2 stores in Pretoria. He made news headlines again in early December 2014 when he fought off 6 car hijackers, suffering a fractured skull and a stab wound to his back.
4. Kobus Wiese: Kobus is a popular commentator at SuperSport and is the owner of a chain of cafés and is the CEO of a coffee-roasting factory in Johannesburg and helped with a lot of the information in this article.
3. Balie Swart: Balie spent some time as an assistant coach to Ebbw Vale in Wales and then of Sale Sharks. He returned to South Africa and is now a scrum consultant to SARU, with the specific focus to train refs all about the dark arts of the front row.
2.Chris Roussow: Chris is a farmer in South Africa and is also doing huge business into Africa with the chicken farming part of his business.
1.Os Du Randt: Pieter is a two time Rugby World Cup winner (1995 and 2007) and has filled various scrum coaching positions with the Springboks and is currently with the Free State Cheetahs.
Kitch Christie (Coach): After coaching the Springboks to a then record of 14 consecutive wins, inclusive of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, Christie left his post as Springbok coach. He briefly coached at both Northern Transvaal (The Bulls) in Super Rugby and the Falcons as a consultant in the Currie Cup. He succumbed to cancer in 1998.
The rest of the squad:
Marius Hurter (Prop): Hurter played in Europe until the end of his career and then assisted with some junior coaching. He now practices as an attorney.
Garry Pagel (Prop): Garry played for four years at Northampton Saints and then returned to his farming roots in South Africa.
James Dalton (Hooker): “Bullet” owns a company which offers account-based fax to e-mail solutions. He also has a strategic partnership with SA Rugby, which saw him bring out a DVD titled “Greatest Springbok Tries” featuring the period from 1992 to 2012.
Naka Drotske (Hooker): Naka is currently Head Coach at Super Rugby Franchise Free State Cheetahs
Krynauw Otto (Lock): He was involved with some coaching at the Valke (Currie Cup team) but has since turned his attention to business as a Commercial Executive for a company specialising in recycling.
Robbie Brink (Flank): Robbie has become a successful property developer and spends his time between Ireland and South Africa.
Rudolph Straeuli (8th man): Rudolph is currently the CEO of the Golden Lions Rugby Union and was instrumental in returning them to success after years in the doldrums.
Adriaan Richter (8th man/Flank): There is little information available on Adriaan other than he runs his own business in the mining town of Witbank.
Johan Roux (Scrum half): Every class photo has that person who we wonder “what happened to him?”. Johan has no internet presence and the team mates we have approached cannot tell us where he is right now.
Brendan Venter (Centre): Brendan coached at London Irish and was Director of Rugby at Saracens. He gained further world wide fame after his spectacularly evasive interview after Saracens lost to Racing Metro in the then Heineken Cup. He still practices as a medical Doctor and consults with various rugby teams. His astute rugby brain is valued by many.
Christiaan Scholtz (Centre): Opened an antiques business in Johannesburg with his wife.
Pieter Hendriks (Wing): Pieter Hendriks scored the famous opening try of the 1995 World Cup by out pacing David Campese on the outside. He currently works with another Springbok legend, Ray Mordt, in the hydraulic industry.
Gavin Johnson (Fullback): Gavin has invested in and owns a tourist lodge in Zambia.
This squad certainly contains many Springbok legends and fan favourites and it has been my pleasure in tracing them down to see what they are doing now!
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