The England v South Africa Rugby World Cup Final match will be the official 43rd meeting between these two great rugby nations. South Africa lead the series by 25 wins to 15, with 2 matches drawn.
Their first meeting was on 8 December 1906. This was on the inaugural South Africa tour and is recognised as the event that coined the phrase ‘Springboksas’ a nickname for the South African team. Out of 29 matches played, South Africa won 26, lost two and drew one.
The tourists were Captained by Paul Johannes Roos of Stellenbosch. Throughout the tour Roos was articulate and gracious in victory and defeat, and saw the campaign as an attempt to improve the relationship between his fellow countrymen and the British after the events of the Second Boer War. A devout Christian, Roos was an excellent ambassador for the game and helped promote the South Africans as a fair and exciting sporting team.
The England Captain of 1906 was Vincent Henry Cartwright who served in the British Armed Forces during the First World War, joining the Royal Marines. He was highly decorated, twice mentioned in dispatches, a DSO and Croix de guerre. He gained 14 Caps between 1903 – 1906, his first against Wales in 1903 and the 3-3 draw against South Africa would be his last.
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