From The Vaults

21 August 2023
#FromTheVaults - All Blacks and Springboks

With New Zealand and South Africa preparing for a Rugby World Cup warm-up match at Twickenham on Friday, we're highlighting two items which have recently been loaned to the World Rugby Museum.

In 1995, he was included in South Africa's Rugby World Cup squad. He scored four tries in the quarter-final against Western Samoa before playing in the semi-final victory against France that set up a final with New Zealand. Held at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, the final ended 15-12 to South Africa after Joel Stransky's drop goal in extra time sealed their victory.

When Nelson Mandela famously presented the Webb Ellis Cup to captain François Pienaar, Williams was the only black player in the team. Selection of non-white players was uncommon in South Africa prior to 1992 due to the country's apartheid policy, and Williams was the first since his own uncle, Avril Williams, had received two caps in 1984. Mandela recognised that the 1995 tournament could play an important role in unifying the divided country and endorsed the team's success as something for all South Africans to celebrate.

This jersey was worn in New Zealand's second test against the British and Irish Lions in 2005. Dan Carter dominated, scoring two tries and making nine successful kicks from ten. A try from McCaw extended the All Blacks' lead in the 75th minute and the final score was 48-18. The jersey was swapped with his opposite number, Lewis Moody, following the match. It was a record score for an international team against the Lions, and the result secured a 3-0 series win for New Zealand.

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The portrait and the jersey will be on display at the World Rugby Museum throughout the week as we look forward to a rare opportunity to see these two sides face each other at Twickenham.