Springboks All Blacks

The Springboks face up to the All Blacks haka. Photo: SA Rugby website

How many All Blacks would make a combined Springbok XV?

The Springboks and All Blacks clashed in an epic World Cup final last year. In a hypothetical exercise, we pick a combined team.

Springboks All Blacks

The Springboks face up to the All Blacks haka. Photo: SA Rugby website

There is an incredible rivalry between the Springboks and All Blacks that has encompassed over 100 Test matches and that dates back to the first clash in 1921.

The latest chapter of this rivalry was written during the 2023 World Cup final during a brutal battle, which saw the Springbok hold on for a thrilling one-point win.

In an interesting hypothetical exercise, we take a look at the players from both sides, and assess how many All Blacks stars might feature in a combined XV with the Springboks.

Here is how we think a combined Springboks-All Blacks team might look?

Hypothetical combined team: 15 Beauden Barrett, 14 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 13 Rieko Ioane, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi, (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Ultimately, our feeling is that a combined team would still be dominated by Springboks, but there could be room in the backline for three All Blacks stars.

We’re basing this combined selection on players who were still available at the 2023 World Cup, and so there is a spot for iconic scrumhalf Aaron Smith.

At fullback, maverick utility back Beauden Barrett sneaks in ahead of Damian Willemse, while Rieko Ioane could add some further magic at outside centre.

The rest of the team is almost entirely made up of South Africans, with only 2023 World Player of the Year Ardie Savea able to force his way into a world-class Springbok pack.

*Let us know in the comments section who you would pick in a hypothetical combined team?

The arch-rivals will soon go head-to-head again

There is no doubt that the All Blacks – now under the leadership of popular coach Scott Robertson – will be going all out to achieve World Cup redemption when the two teams meet again in August and September.


  • Saturday, 22 June: SA vs Wales (Twickenham, London)
  • Saturday, 6 July: SA vs Ireland (Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria)
  • Saturday, 13 July: SA vs Ireland (Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban)
  • Saturday, 20 July: SA vs Portugal (Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein)
  • Saturday, 10 August: Australia vs SA (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane)
  • Saturday, 17 August: Australia vs SA (Optus Stadium, Perth)
  • Saturday, 31 August: SA vs New Zealand (Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg)
  • Saturday, 7 September: SA v New Zealand (DHL Stadium, Cape Town)
  • Saturday, 21 September: Argentina v SA (venue TBC)
  • Saturday, 28 September: SA v Argentina (Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit)
  • Saturday, 10 November: SA v Scotland (Murrayfield, Edinburgh)
  • 16/17 November: England v SA (Twickenham, London – date TBC)

*A report from French media outlet Midi Olympique has suggested France will face the Springboks on 2 November.