The 2015 Rugby World Cup is underway in England, but how much do you know about the Springbok team?

Get to know the Springbok squad, their positions, test caps and some of the more unusual things about the men in green and gold. 

Props:

Coenie Oosthuizen (23), Trevor Nyakane (15), Tendai Mtawarira (67), Frans Malherbe (5), Jannie du Plessis (70)

 It’s a family affair for Sharks and former Cheetahs tighthead prop Jannie Du Plessis holds the record for the most test caps with his brother Bismark, also a member of the Springboks. Both brothers were on the bench at the 2007 Rugby World Cup final.

Another powerhouse player with a strong scrum technique is Tendai Mtawarira, aka Beast, who first played for the Springboks against Wales in 2008. 

The Zimbabwe-born prop was so determined to succeed as a rugby player that he rode his bicycle from his lodgings in Morningside to the Sharks Academy in Durban despite being teased, according to IOL.

Tendai Mtawarira during the 2011 Super Rugby Competition when the Sharks took on the Rebels. Photo: RykNeethling from Melbourne, Australia (Rabodirect Rebels vs Sharks Uploaded by stemoc) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Tendai Mtawarira during the 2011 Super Rugby Competition when the Sharks took on the Rebels. Photo: RykNeethling, via Wikimedia Commons

Hookers:

Adriaan Strauss (50), Bismarck du Plessis (74), Schalk Brits (12)

Schalk Brits made his Springbok debut in 2008 according to SA Rugby

This experienced player has played for the Golden Lions, the Cats, Western Provence, the Stormers and signed for English team, the Saracens, in the 2009/2010 season.

Despite Bismark du Plessis being one of the most feared hookers in recent seasons, the 112kg player also has a softer side which is evident after he told SA Rugby that his favourite movie is the epic drama, Legends of the Fall.

Springbok prop, Bismarck du Plessis, at Murrayfield during a test match against Scotland. Photo: Wiki Commons

Springbok prop, Bismarck du Plessis, at Murrayfield during a test match against Scotland. Photo: Sahmejil, via Wiki Commons

Centre:

Jesse Kriel (3), Jean de Villiers (108) (captain), Damian de Allende (8)

Captain Jean de Villiers has suffered many injuries along his rugby journey. 

In 2002 he tore ligaments in his right knee; in the 2007 World Cup he tore his biceps in the first match, and in the 2011 World Cup opener, he popped a rib. 

But in November 2014, de Villiers suffered a sever injury when he dislocated his kneecap, ruptured three knee ligaments and torn his hamstring at the top and bottom during the November game against Wales, according to the Telegraph.

Jesse Kriel is part of another sibling duo with his twin brother Dan Kriel who both excelled in the Junior Springboks in 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKCseJwe8C0

Locks:

Victor Matfield (125) (vice-captain), Eben Etzebeth (36), Pieter-Steph du Toit (3), Lood de Jager (12)

Former junior Springbok who was part of the winning 2012 World Rugby U20 Championships, Pieter-Steph du Toit, was close to missing his chance of being a part of the 2015 Springbok squad.

Du Toit was all but ruled out after he twisted his knee in a Sharks versus Cheetahs match in March this year. But thanks to his father, Pieter du Toit who donated his own ligament, the lock recovered in time for the World Cup according to SuperSport.

Vice-captain Victor Matfield came out of retirement for the World Cup, and has played the most games for the Springboks with 125 test caps. 

At 2 metres tall and thought to be one of the best locks in the world, it’s no surprise that this giant’s favorite movie is Thor, according to SA Rugby.

Victor Matfield during the Lione during versus Bulls game during the Super 15 in March 2011. Photo: Tyler Yeo, via Wiki Commons.

Victor Matfield (right) being lifted during a line out during the Lion during versus Bulls game during the Super 15 in March 2011. Photo: Tyler Yeo, via Wiki Commons.

Loose Trio:

Duane Vermeulen (32), Francois Louw (38),Siya Kolisi (11), Schalk Burger (77), Willem Alberts (35)

 Siya Kolisi, who made his full Springbok debut against Scotland, is not only an excellent rugby player but also a family man who loves home cooked umphokogo (pap and amasi) according to Destiny Man

Kolisi also told the magazine that he is currently working on getting custody of his half siblings aged 7 and twelve, whom he lost touch with when they were taken into social services care 7 years ago.

A player who had to overcome adversity is Schalk Burger who went into hospital to do a routine draining of a cyst next to his spinal when he developed bacterial meningitis according to Timeslive

Burger fought for his life in intensive care last year and recovered to take back his place in the green and gold lineup. 

Schalk Burger running toward the try-line in a match against Samoa during the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Photo: derivative work: Anrie (talk), via Wiki Commons

Schalk Burger running toward the try-line in a match against Samoa during the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Photo: derivative work: Anrie (talk), via Wiki Commons

Scrumhalf:

Ruan Pienaar (93), Rudy Paige (0), Fourie du Preez (70)

Newcomer and Blue Bulls scrum-half, Rudy Paige, is a local Joburger who studied at the University of Johannesburg. 

Despite being the only uncapped player in the squad, Paige is eager to prove himself at the World Cup, according to the SA Rugby Magazine.

The South African rugby union player Ruaan Pienaar at Murrayfield during a test match against Scotland. Photo: Sahmejil, via Wiki Commons

The South African rugby union player Ruaan Pienaar at Murrayfield during a test match against Scotland. Photo: Sahmejil, via Wiki Commons

Flyhalf:

Morné Steyn (61), Handré Pollard (13), Patrick Lambie (46)

The multi talented Patrick Lambie has the rare ability to be able to play fullback, flyhalf and centre positions according to an interview with Club X. Lambie was also the youngest member of the squad the last time the Springboks were in the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B1Ebvi_ntHM

Back Trio:

JP Pietersen (63), Lwazi Mvovo (20), Willie le Roux (29), Zane Kirchner (30), Bryan Habana (110)

Bryan Habana scored his first test try in his debut for the Springboks and hasn’t stopped since then. The speedster who has raced a cheetah and an Airbus A380 scored four tries against Samoa during the 2007 World Cup.

Bryan Habana joining the South Africa Rugby World Cup 2007 Winners in a Parade on a bus. Photo: E M i L i A [2], via Wiki Commons

Bryan Habana joining the South Africa Rugby World Cup 2007 Winners in a Parade on a bus. Photo: E M i L i A [2], via Wiki Commons