1906-07 South Africa rugby union tour

1906-07 South Africa rugby union tour

The 1906-07 South Africa tour of Britain, Ireland and France was a collection of friendly rugby union games undertaken by the South Africa national rugby union team against the four British Home Nation teams. The tour also took in several matches against British and Irish club, county and invitational teams before finally travelling to France to play the national team.

This was the inaugrial South Africa tour and is recognised as the event that coined the phrase "Springboks" as a nickname for the South African team.

The tour was extremely successful for the South Africans which helped garner respect from the Northern Hemisphere teams and established South Africa as a formidable rugby playing country. In the tests played the team would only lose to Scotland and drew against England. The South African defeat of Wales was a shock to many critics and ended the international careers of some of the greatest Welsh players of the time. Out of 29 matches played, South Africa won 26, lost two and drew one.


Touring party


*Manager: Cecil Carden
*Captain: Paul Roos

Full Backs

*Arthur Burmeister (Western Province)
*Steve Joubert (Western Province)
*Arthur Marsberg (Griqualand West)

Three quarters

*Sydney de Melker (Griqualand West)
*HA de Villiers (Western Province)
*Jack Hirsch (Eastern Province)
*Japie Krige (Western Province)
*Japie le Roux (Western Province)
*Bob Loubser (Western Province)
*Andrew Morkel (Transvaal)
*Anton Stegmann (Western Province)

Half Backs

*Harold 'Paddy' Carolin (Western Province)
*Frederick Dobbin (Griqualand West)
*Dirk Jackson (Western Province)
*Dietlof Mare (Western Province)


*Daniel Brink (Western Province)
*Douglas Brookes (Border)
*Adam Francis Burdett (Western Province)
*William Burger (Border)
*Henry Daneel (Western Province)
*Pietie le Roux (Western Province)
*William Martheze (Griqualand West)
*William Millar (Western Province)
*Douglas Morkel (Transvaal)
*William Morkel (Transvaal)
*William Allan Neill (Border)
*John Raaff (Griqualand West)
*Hubert Reid (Transvaal)
*Paul Roos (Western Province)

The matches


date = October 17
home = flagicon|ENG Devon XV
score = 6 – 22
away = flagicon|UK South Africa
homescore = Try: Roberts
Pen Lillicrapp
awayscore = Try: Dobbin (2)
Con D Morkel (2)
Pen D Morkel (2)
stadium = Plymouth County Ground
attendance = 18,000
referee = Mr E. Williams flagicon|ENG (England)

Devon: F Lillicrapp (Albion), AJR Roberts (Exeter), J. Schulz (R.N. College, Dartmouth), De Smidt (Plymouth), F SCott (Bristol), R Jago (Albion), J Peters (Plymouth), W Mills (Albion), SG Williams, (Albion), J Cummings (Albion), EW Roberts (R.N. College, Dartmouth), TS Kelly (London Harlequins), GD Roberts (Exeter), Dix (R.N. College, Dartmouth), G Farr, (Torquay)

South Africa: AF Marsberg, JD Krige, JA Loubser, FJ Dobbin, P Roos (capt.), WA Burger, PA le Roux, DJ Brink, WC Martheze, JWE Raaff, WS Morkel, JG Hirsch, A Stegmann, HW Carolin, DF Morkel

The South African match against Devon is noted for events that occurred before the game began. On the day Devon fielded England international Jimmy Peters, the first black player to be capped for his country. On learning they would be facing a black player, the South Africans refused to take to the field. The South African High Commissioner, who was in the crowd, approached the Springboks and successfully persuaded them to play.cite web | url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/devon/community_life/features/jimmy_peters.shtml | title=Making rugby history | publisher=The BBC | author= | date=2008-01-29 | accessdate=2008-07-24] ----


date = October 27
home = flagicon|WAL Newport
score = 0 – 8
away = flagicon|UK South Africa
homescore =
awayscore = Try: Stegmann (2)
Con:D Morkel
stadium = Rodney Parade
attendance = 19,000
referee = Gil Evans flagicon|ENG(Birmingham)
Newport: D Boots, R Plummer, WH Gunstone, S Adams, WR Thomas, W Martin, T Vile, C Pritchard (capt.), E Thomas, J Hodges, WH Dowell, E Jenkins, H Davies, H Wetter, G Boots

South Africa: AF Marsberg, JD Krige, JS le Roux, FJ Dobbin, P Roos (capt.), WA Burger, PA le Roux, DJ Brink, AC Stegmann, JWE Raaff, HA de Villiers, DC Jackson, D Brooks, DS Mare, DF Morkel



date = October 31
home = flagicon|WAL Glamorgan
score = 3 – 6
away = flagicon|UK South Africa
homescore = Try: Joseph
awayscore = Try: Stegmann (2)
stadium = Cardiff Arms Park
attendance = 40,000
referee = A.O. Jones flagicon|ENG(Leicester)
Glamorgan: H Winfield, H Maddocks, W Trew, R Gabe, E Morgan (capt.), H Toft, R Owen, J Brown, G Northmore, W Neill, D Jones, JF Williams, W Joseph, H Hunt, R Thomas

South Africa: AF Marsberg, JA Loubser, JD Krige, FJ Dobbin, P Roos (capt.), WA Burger, DJ Brink, AC Stegmann, JWE Raaff, HA de Villiers, D Brooks, HW Carolin, DF Morkel, WS Morkel, WA Millar



date = November 17
home = flagicon|SCO Scotland
score = 6 – 0
away = flagicon|UK South Africa
homescore = Try: Purves
awayscore =
stadium = Hampden Park
attendance = unknown
referee =


date = November 24
home = flagicon|IRE Ireland
score = 12 – 15
away = flagicon|UK South Africa
homescore = Try: Sugars (2)
awayscore = Try: Loubser (2)
stadium = Balmoral Ground
attendance = unknown
referee =


date = December 1
home = flagicon|WAL Wales
score = 0 – 11
away = flagicon|UK South Africa
homescore =
awayscore = Try: Joubert
Raaff (c)
Con: Joubert
stadium = St. Helens
attendance = 40,000+
referee = Arthur Owen Jones flagicon|ENG(England)

Wales: JCM Dyke (Penarth), E Morgan (London Welsh), EG Nicholls (Cardiff capt.), R Gabe (Cardiff), JL Williams (Cardiff), PF Bush (Cardiff), RM Owen (Swansea), W Joseph (Swansea), G Travers, (Pill Harriers), D Jones (Treherbert), AF Harding (London Welsh), JC Jenkins (London Welsh), JF Williams (London Welsh), CM Pritchard (Newport), EJ Thomas, (Mountain Ash)

South Africa: AF Marsberg, S Joubert, HA de Villiers, JD Krige, JA Loubser, DC Jackson, FJ Dobbin, P Roos (capt.), WA Burger, HJ Daneel, PA le Roux, DJ Brink, WC Martheze, JWE Raaff, WS Morkel

Before the game hopes were high that the Welsh would be able to see off the South African threat.Parry-Jones (1999), pg 188.] As one commentator wrote, "There was nothing in the South African's play to forbid Welsh hopes of repeating their success of last season...", Parry-Jones (1999), pg 180.] harking back to Wales' famous victory over the All Blacks. When a Glamorgan XV team, which contained many Welsh caps that were to face South Africa, could only manage a drew against Gloucester, it caused some people to re-think the team's chances of winning. This caused an outcry for Welsh star, Gwyn Nicholls, to come out of international retirement to face South Africa. Even the South African players' voiced their disappointment at not facing Nicholls on the pitch.Parry-Jones (1999), pg 181.] When Billy Trew withdrew from the Glamorgan XV against Monmouthshire on November 22, Nicholls was the suprise replacement, and a few days later Nicholls told the "Daily Mirror" that he intended to "have a shot at the Springboks"Parry-Jones (1999), pg 186.]

On the day of the match, South Africa were without some of their star players, including lead try scorer Stegmann, who had suffered a leg strain in the Belfast encounter. However, captain and talisman Paul Roos was back in the squad though sporting a heavy pad on his injured shoulder. The weather on the day was dry and the hard pitch suited the visitors, after an aggressive but blunt opening from the hosts, the South Africans found their pace and quickly took advantage. By half time the tourist were 6-0 ahead with tries from Joubert and Loubser. Gwyn Nicholls had a paricularly poor game, wasting a panicked kick from Marsberg in the first half and throughout the game he and Gabe were so tightly marked that they were ineffective. In the second half it was a Nicholls error that handed the Springboks their third try when he caught a high ball safely, only to release it into open play. 'Klondyke' Raaff dribbled the ball away and scored a try that Joubert duly converted. The final result was 11-0 to the visitors; the majority of Welsh crowd were silenced by such a terrible result, though enough good-will was shown to carry captain Roos, and the constantly impressive Marsberg from the pitch.

After the games there were many ramifications for the Welsh team. The papers stated that the weakness shown by the forwards, and too many old players in the pack, were the reasons for the poor Welsh display. The Welsh Rugby Union reacted to the press comments by dropping many of the players from international rugby. Those players that would never again represent their country included, Dai Jones, Will Joseph, Gwyn Nicholls and Jack Williams; just one year after the legendary game against the All Blacks.----


date = December 8
home = ru|ENG
score = 3 – 3
away = flagicon|UK South Africa
homescore =Try: Brooks
awayscore =Try: Millar
stadium = Crystal Palace
attendance =
referee =

England: JGG Birkett, A Alcock, EJ 'John' Jackett, FG Brooks, CH Shaw, R Dibble, W Mills, HE Shewring, T Simpson, BA Hill, VH Cartwright, TS Kelly, J Green, AD Stoop, R Jago----


date = December 26
home = flagicon|WAL Monmouthsire
score = 0 – 17
away = flagicon|UK South Africa
homescore =
awayscore =Try: Jackson
Con: Mare
stadium = Rodney Parade
attendance =
referee = A. Sloper flagicon|ENG(London, England)

Monmouthsire: Jack Roberts (Blaina), Llew Llewellyn (Pill Harriers), Jack H. Evans (Pontypool), Jack P. Jones (Pontypool), Billy Bowen (Abertillery), James Jones (Pontypool), Dai Beynon (Pontypool), Ernie Williams (Pontnewydd), George Travers (capt.) (Pill Harriers), Jake Blackmore (Abertillery), Jim Webb (Abertillery), Rees Thomas (Pontypool),Jack Foley (Brynmawr), Jack Jones (Cwmbran), J.C Jenkins (London Welsh)----


date = December 29
home = flagicon|WAL Llanelli
score = 3 – 16
away = flagicon|UK South Africa
homescore =Try: Evans
awayscore =Try: Loubser (2)
Con: D. Morkel (2)
Pen:D. Morkel

stadium = Stradey Park
attendance =
referee = F. Marsh flagicon|ENG(South Shields, England)

Llanelli: G. Thomas, W. Arnold, R. Gabe, G. Rowe, W. Thomas, H. Thomas, D. Lloyd, J. Auckland, H. Watkins, H. Cole, G. Dobbs, J. Watts, D. Walters (capt.), W. Cole, T. Evans----


date = January 1
home = flagicon|WAL Cardiff
score = 17 – 0
away = flagicon|UK South Africa
homescore =Try:Nicholls
Con: Winfield

awayscore =
stadium = Cardiff Arms Park
attendance = 27,000
referee = G. Evans flagicon|ENG(Birmingham, England)

Cardiff: B Winfield, C Biggs, R Gabe, G Nicholls, J Williams, P Bush (capt.), R Gibbs, D David, A Brice, G Northmore, J Powell, F Smith, J Brown, J Casey, B Neill



date = January 3
home = ru|FRA
score = 6 – 55
away = flagicon|UK South Africa
homescore =Try: Purves
awayscore =Try: Dobbin (3)
Mare (2)
Loubser (2)
Martheze (2)
Hirsch (2)
Con:Mare (8)
stadium = Parc de Princes
attendance =
referee =




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