Former Springbok James Dalton

Former Springbok James Dalton. Photo: X

Where is controversial former Springbok James Dalton now?

James Dalton was one of the most colourful characters to ever play for the Springboks. We reflect on his career and what he’s up to now.

Former Springbok James Dalton

Former Springbok James Dalton. Photo: X

James Dalton, for good or for bad, is a name that remains synonymous with Springbok rugby and particularly the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Over the course of his career, Dalton ultimately racked up 43 Test caps, and became renowned for his fighting spirit and love for the physical exchanges.

Bullet” – as he was nicknamed – made his Springbok debut off the bench against Argentina in Port Elizabeth on October 8, 1994, and the year after he earned inclusion in the Springboks’ World Cup squad.

His second Test was the classic 1995 World Cup opener against Australia, but his participation in the tournament was then infamously cut short in the following match against Canada.

Referred to as the ‘Battle of Boet Erasmus’, Dalton, as well as Gareth Rees and Rod Snow, received red cards for their parts in a mass punch-up. Dalton was ultimately banned for the remainder of the tournament, although he would return to the Springbok fold later on in 1995.

Dalton would also become a key member of Nick Mallett’s world record equalling Springboks as they achieved a historic winning run over the 1997/98 seasons, and he remained a mainstay of the team over the next few years up until the end of 1998.

What was followed was a lengthy period in the international wilderness before he returned to the Springbok team in 2002, featuring in nine more Tests in what would be his last year of Test rugby.

In a first-class career spanning more than a decade, Dalton played 76 matches for the Lions, eight for the Cats, 16 for the Bulls and 18 for the Falcons. He also represented SA Schools and played for the Junior Springboks, SA Barbarians, World XV, World Barbarians, SA Universities and South Africa A.

Former Springbok James Dalton was one of the most fearsome and physical former national players

During his colourful career, Dalton at times ran into a variety of indiscretions on and off the field, while that also translated into some of his life after retirement. But that can take nothing away from an incredible initiative that he recently launched as a passion project.

Last year, Dalton launched ‘My Safe Space’ – an initiative that strives to make schools safer. Part of the venture has been centred around installing security technology systems and solutions in schools – including the likes of electric fencing, perimeter beams and CCTV among others.

Dalton hopes to focus more on schools and communities in need that would benefit greatly from constant surveillance towards the prevention of violence and criminal incidents.

“We will seek donor funding to support our objectives of providing security technology systems to schools and communities that need it the most in our country,” Dalton recently said.

He has also been a brand ambassador for Red Bull Wings for Life and GNC sports nutrition, and part of the JAG Foundation, which has seen him visiting schools on the Cape Flats and speaking about the effects of bullying.

Maintaining an active life style

Dalton has continued to keep in shape, and previously obtained a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Back in 2020, there was even talk that he could take part in the Extreme Fighting Championship, but this ultimately failed to materialise due to Covid-19.

A few years ago he also released a multi-faceted autobiography titled ‘Bullet Proof’.