So Where are the 1995 Springboks Now?

Here’s the lowdown on what the 28 squad members have done since winning the World Cup 20 years ago, republished here with kind permission from SA Rugby magazine.

1995 Springboks South Africa
1995 Springboks South Africa. Source: SA Rugby magazine
For your easy reference, these are in alphabetical order by surname:
MARK ANDREWS (LOCK/NO 8)

Andrews retired from international rugby in 2002 and played for the Newcastle Falcons in England until 2004. Upon returning to South Africa, he joined the management team of a sporting goods company. He and his partner then bought the company, sold off different divisions to shareholders and managers, and kept one division. Andrews is now a partner in the M5 Sports group that specialises in supplying and servicing sports and general merchandise goods into mass retail in South Africa and Africa.

ROBBIE BRINK (FLANK)

The former Western Province, Stormers and Ulster loose forward became a successful property developer and owns Brink Property, which operates in South Africa and Ireland. With his wife being Irish, Brink lives in Cork and supports Munster. He has two children, Emily and Daniel, and says he gets a headstart on his wife whenever the Boks play against Ireland because they sing ‘Ireland’s Call’ with thick South African accents.

JAMES DALTON (HOOKER)

‘Bullet’ runs a company called Green Planet Fax, which offers account-based fax-to-email solutions that reduce businesses’ carbon footprint. He is also a brand ambassador for Red Bull Wings for Life and GNC sports nutrition, and part of the JAG Foundation, which sees him visiting schools on the Cape Flats and speaking about the effects of bullying. Dalton has continued to keep fit and obtained a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He also took part in the Cape Town 10s this year.


NAKA DROTSKÉ (HOOKER)

Drotské ended his playing career after Free State’s 2005 Currie Cup triumph. He was appointed team manager in 2006 and took over as head coach in 2007, when the Cheetahs won the domestic tournament for a third successive year. With Drotské at the helm, the Cheetahs reached the Super Rugby play-offs for the first time in 2013. He recently announced that he would be retiring from coaching at the end of the Super Rugby season to focus on his business interests. Drotské is a director and co-owner of the Monte Bello Estate and Fiber ProTector South Africa.

OS DU RANDT (PROP)

Hampered by injuries, Du Randt hung up his boots in 2000, but returned to play for Free State three years later. In 2004 he made his Springbok comeback and in 2007 played his last 80 minutes of rugby in the World Cup final. Du Randt has since filled scrum coaching positions, most notably with the Cheetahs, and was a scrum consultant to the Springboks in their 2011 World Cup buildup.

MARIUS HURTER (PROP)

While completing his law degree, Hurter was head coach of the Golden Lions U19 team and forwards consultant to the Bulls’ Currie Cup and Super Rugby sides. He is now practising as a sport and labour law attorney in Stellenbosch, and was Maties’ scrum coach in the lead-up to the 2015 Varsity Cup.

PIETER HENDRIKS (WING)

Hendriks joined former Springbok wing Ray Mordt’s company Sisonke Hydraulics & Engineering before the 1995 World Cup and is now a co-owner and marketing director. In 2002, he bought a cattle farm in Mpumalanga and continues to work in the agricultural industry. Hendriks is also an SABC commentator, covering all Springbok Tests played in South Africa and Currie Cup finals.

Rugby World Cup 1995

ANDRÉ JOUBERT (FULLBACK)

After retiring in 1999, the ‘Rolls-Royce of fullbacks’ started a company called 3G Technology which sells and services Konica Minolta multifunctional print devices and 3CX IPBX systems. Between running the business in Durban, and spending time with wife Tracy, daughter Isabella and son Sean, Joubert stays fit by doing mountain biking, playing golf and running up and down the touchline when Sean plays rugby.

GAVIN JOHNSON (FULLBACK)

By the time Johnson’s career had come to an end, he was desperate to return to the bush. He and his wife Penny travelled to the far reaches of western Zambia where they discovered Mutemwa, on the banks of the Upper Zambezi River. They own a tourist lodge there, which has been home to the family for the past 19 years. Visitors can enjoy tiger fishing, birding, and wildlife safaris and adventures. Johnson is also involved with the Foundations for Farming movement in Zambia, which aims to educate the local communities about correct and sustainable agricultural and land-use practices.

RUBEN KRUGER (FLANK)

The ‘Silent Assassin’ passed away in January 2010 after a 10-year battle with brain cancer. After finishing his rugby career in 2000, Kruger established a camera franchise business in Pretoria. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour later that year, and went to Nigeria to seek help from faith healer TB Joshua. The tumour was removed in 2000 but resurfaced in 2009, and Kruger would die two months before his 40th birthday.

HANNES STRYDOM (LOCK)

Strydom is a qualified pharmacist and has a group of three pharmacies under the name of Pharma Valu in Pretoria. He also has his own range of vitamins called Health & Wellness and another range called HNS, which includes the unique slimming products called HNS New Me and HNS New Man.

HENNIE LE ROUX (FLYHALF/CENTRE)

Le Roux founded the South African Rugby Players’ Association in 1998 which he presided over until 2008. He established a range of other companies in the years that followed, but spends most of his time at Crown River Safari, his luxury lodge on Medbury Farm outside Grahamstown.

JAPIE MULDER (CENTRE)

After a long stint with Transvaal, Mulder joined the Leeds Tykes in 2001 and retired two years later because of a neck injury. Having worked for telecommunications infrastructure company Dark Fibre Africa, he recently joined Samsung and distributes its automation products.

KRYNAUW OTTO (LOCK)

Otto had to retire at the age of 28 after suffering a brain injury against the Wallabies in 2000 (an MRI scan revealed bleeding on the left front of the cerebrum). He had coaching stints with Tuks and the Valke, and is now the national contracts manager at The New Reclamation Group, which recycles ferrous and non-ferrous metal products in southern Africa. Otto is also an ambassador for the Blow the Whistle campaign, which fights against rape and the abuse of women and children.

GARRY PAGEL (PROP)

Pagel played for the Northampton Saints between 1997 and 2001. In the 1999-2000 season, he won the European Cup with Saints; his daughter Louisa was born a few months later. After retirement in 2001, Pagel returned to South Africa to pursue farming near Adelaide in the Eastern Cape where his family spent the next 12 years. However, their farm Rietvlei was remote and they couldn’t engage in other activities as much as they would have liked. In August 2014, the Pagels relocated to Bathurst, close to Port Alfred, and the former prop aims to get involved in schools rugby in the area on a part-time basis.

FRANCOIS PIENAAR (FLANK)

After playing his last Test in 1996, Pienaar joined English club Saracens, becoming their first player-coach and then CEO (he remains on the club’s board). He returned to South Africa in 2003 to join FNB as head of sponsorships and new business development. Pienaar was later appointed provincial chairman for FNB in the Western Cape. His passion for education saw him establish the Make a Difference Leadership Foundation from London in 2004. In October 2009, Pienaar founded Advent Sport Entertainment and Media, on the back of doing the marketing for the Indian Premier League when South Africa hosted the tournament. There are six businesses in the group, ranging from media rights ownership, sponsorship and event management to consulting, experiential marketing and merchandising.

ADRIAAN RICHTER (NO 8)

Richter farmed for six years between 2000 and 2006 in Nylstroom, where he coached the primary school’s rugby team for three years. The farm was sold in 2006 and the Richters moved to Witbank. The former eighthman now occupies a managerial position at Darajo Hire, a company owned by his wife Christa.

CHRIS ROSSOUW (HOOKER)

Rossouw, who is now a farmer, was diagnosed with lymphoma (a form of cancer that affects the immune system) after he had experienced discomfort in his back. A scan revealed a large lump near his stomach, which was pressurising his kidneys. He underwent chemotherapy, which saw the lump shrink and then disappear six weeks later. His recovery motivated him to deliver messages of hope to other sufferers through the Lymphoma Awareness Campaign.

Juanita Aitkenhead Follow · June 25 ·    My friends and I celebrated the launch of 'The Anthems' album with the guys at the Ellis Park Restaurant days before the first game was played. It really was an awesome time for everyone indeed
Juanita Aitkenhead – “My friends and I celebrated the launch of ‘The Anthems’ album with the guys at the Ellis Park Restaurant days before the first game was played. It really was an awesome time for everyone indeed.”
JOHAN ROUX (SCRUMHALF)

After his rugby career ended, Roux chose to concentrate on his business, C2E Energy Inc, which, in co-operation with various leading Chinese companies, produces petrol, diesel, fuel oil and aviation fuel technology products.

CHRISTIAAN SCHOLTZ (CENTRE)

Scholtz entered the trade industry in 1996, opening a chain of antique furniture, arts and collectables stores. In 2008, he sold the shops and started Old Johannesburg Warehouse, an auctioneering company that buys and ships antiques in from North America, the Netherlands, Argentina, Hungary and France to be auctioned off in South Africa. He also acts as the auctioneer.

JAMES SMALL (WING)

Small became a successful restaurateur after retiring from rugby in 1999 and owned Cafe Caprice in Camps Bay. He also has business interests in ADreach, a company specialising in street pole advertising in South Africa. Small was involved with the Investec Rugby Academy, before being appointed Pukke assistant coach for the 2014 Varsity Cup. He then joined the Leopards in the Currie Cup First Division as coaching consultant.

JOEL STRANSKY (FLYHALF)

Upon his return from playing and coaching at the Leicester Tigers, Stransky moved into the corporate world. After successful stints at various companies, he became a shareholder in Pivotal Capital, an investment group that owns and manages OneVault, a voice biometric company; Pivotal Data (where he is CEO), which provides facility, technology and data solutions to call centres; and Redtree Capital, a small asset financing and rental company. Stransky is also a commentator/analyst for SuperSport and has become a passionate cyclist, completing six Cape Epics.

Dick Sing June 25 ·    Injured my calf on the edge of the seat by jumping in the air when Joel kicked his drop goal!
Dick Sing – “Injured my calf on the edge of the seat by jumping in the air when Joel kicked his drop goal!”
RUDOLF STRAEULI (NO 8)

Straeuli went on to coach the Sharks, who he took to the 2001 Super Rugby final, and the Springboks, who he took to the 2003 World Cup quarter-finals. He became the Sharks commercial manager in 2005, which saw him deal with player contracts, and then assumed a similar role with the Golden Lions Rugby Union in 2013. In June 2014 he took over from Manie Booysen as Lions CEO.

BALIE SWART (PROP)

Swart began coaching at the Lions immediately after he retired as a player in 1998. He moved to New Zealand in 2000, and spent two years each at the Highlanders and Crusaders. He then returned to South Africa, joining the Sharks as an assistant coach and becoming involved with the Sharks Academy. Swart went to the 2007 World Cup with the Springboks as a scrum consultant, and has since assisted many teams, schools and players in that role. In 2011, he became the referee adviser for Saru and later became involved with Sanzar, working with the referees.

JOOST VAN DER WESTHUIZEN (SCRUMHALF)

Van der Westhuizen added a Tri-Nations and two Currie Cup titles to his honours roll in a career that lasted eight years beyond the 1995 World Cup. He went on to represent the Boks at the 1999 and 2003 World Cups before retiring as the then most capped Springbok. A stint in front of the cameras at SuperSport followed, but his contract was terminated in 2009. Van der Westhuizen was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2011 and is confined to a wheelchair. The J9 Foundation, founded in 2012, assists other MND sufferers, and while Van der Westhuizen’s condition is deteriorating, he remains actively involved with this charity.

Joost van der Westhuizen and Francois Pienaar
Wessel Oosthuizen, 24 June 2015 – “The twinkle in his eye is still there as Joost van der Westhuizen and his captain in 1995, Francois Pienaar, pose for a picture at the 1995 Rugby World Cup reunion. Unbelievable sad story of a great rugby player.”
BRENDAN VENTER (CENTRE)

Venter continued playing for Free State after the 1995 World Cup, before signing with London Irish and registering as a doctor in London. He returned to South Africa in order to make the Bok squad for the 1999 World Cup, which he did. Venter retired from the game in 2000 and opened a surgical practice in Cape Town. In 2001, he came out of retirement to become London Irish’s player-coach for two years, before returning to his practice. Venter assisted Rassie Erasmus at the Stormers for two years and then spent two years at Saracens as their director of rugby. After coming back to South Africa, he was an assistant coach with the Junior Boks for two years, consulted for Saracens and coached the Sharks to the 2013 Currie Cup title. He is now the Sharks’ technical director and a mental coach for Paul Roos.

KOBUS WIESE (LOCK)

Wiese ventured into the restaurant trade, establishing Wiesenhof Coffees and Dulce Cafe, with 90 stores nationwide and in areas of Namibia (the coffee beans are imported from Central Africa and South America). He is well known as a SuperSport commentator and host of the Afrikaans show SuperRugby. Wiese also does public speaking and motivational talks at corporations and schools.

CHESTER WILLIAMS (WING)

Williams’s coaching career began as soon as his playing one ended. In 2001, he was Boland’s assistant coach and then became coach of the Springbok Sevens team, who he had represented at the World Cup that year. He was in charge of the Cats in 2004 and 2005, before becoming South Africa A and Pumas coach in 2006. Williams continued to move around, coaching Uganda in 2007, Tunisia in 2008, and two Romanian clubs, Dinamo Bucharest (2008-2011) and Timisoara (2012-2013). He visited Brazil last October, spending time coaching children in a favela (slum) community in São Paulo and giving lectures as part of the Rugby for Everybody programme. Williams finished his diploma in coaching in sports science this year and is the marketing director of Forward Africa Petroleum.

Compiled by Mariette Adams

– This article first appeared in the June 2015 issue of SA Rugby magazine, and is republished here with their kind permission.