1996 New Zealand rugby union tour of South Africa
Coach(es)John Hart
Tour captain(s)Sean Fitzpatrick
08 06 01 01
Test match
04 03 00 01
 South Africa
3 2 0 1

The 1996 New Zealand rugby union tour of South Africa was a historic tour in the history of New Zealand rugby. The All Blacks won the test series 2–1 and became known as "the Incomparables" for their feat of winning a series in South Africa for the first time.

The Rivalry

The Springboks and the All Blacks have been typically regarded by many as the two greatest rugby playing nations of all time.[1] New Zealand and South Africa had clashed in many tours over time which had been hotly contested. This included the controversial 1981 tour. The All Blacks had never beaten South Africa in a full-scale test series in South Africa. This was seen as the only blemish on the All Blacks record. All Black sides of 1928, 1949, 1960, 1970 and 1976 had all failed to beat South Africa away from home. The rivalry has always been hotly contested. 1996 was the year professionalism was introduced into rugby union meaning the creation of the new Tri nations and Super 12. As of 2021 no further full-scale tours have occurred between New Zealand and South Africa.

More recently the All Blacks had clashed with South Africa in the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final. The All Blacks lost that match but coming into this tour they had won the 1996 Tri Nations Series in the process beating South Africa twice.

The Tour

The All Blacks and South Africa played four test matches; the first was the final match of the 1996 Tri Nations Series. The next three was for the test series which the All Blacks won 2–1.

1st Test

17 August 1996
South Africa 19–23 New Zealand
Try: D. van Schalkwyk
Con: Stransky
Pen: Stransky (4)
Try: Brooke
Con: Culhane
Pen: Culhane (2)
King's Park, Durban
Attendance: 52,000[2]
Referee: D. Mene (France)

2nd Test

24 August 1996
South Africa 26–33 New Zealand
Try: Kruger
van der Westhuizen
Con: Stransky
Pen: Stransky (3)
Try: Brooke
Wilson (2)
Con: Culhane (3)
Pen: Culhane (2)
Preston (2)
Drop: Brooke
Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Attendance: 51,000[3]
Referee: D. Mene (France)

3rd Test

31 August 1996
South Africa 32–22 New Zealand
Try: Joubert
van der Westhuizen (2)
Con: Honiball
Pen: Honiball (2)
Joubert (3)
Try: Fitzpatrick
Con: Merthens (2)
Pen: Merthens
Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Attendance: 63,000[4]
Referee: W. D. Bevan (Wales)


Scores and results list New Zealand's points tally first.
Opposing Team For Against Date Venue Status
Boland Invitation XV 32 21 6 August 1996 Esselen Park, Worcester Tour Match
South Africa 29 18 10 August 1996 Newlands, Cape Town Tri Nations
Eastern Province 31 23 13 August 1996 Boet Erasmus Stadium, Port Elizabeth Tour Match
South Africa 23 19 17 August 1996 King's Park, Durban Test Match
Western Transvaal 31 0 20 August 1996 Olën Park, Potchefstroom Tour Match
South Africa 33 26 24 August 1996 Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria Test Match
Griqualand West 18 18 27 August 1996 Hoffe Park, Kimberley Tour Match
South Africa 22 32 31 August 1996 Ellis Park, Johannesburg Test Match


The squad

1. S.D. Culhane 2. J.P. Preston 3. M.J. A. Cooper 4. J.W. Wilson 5. Z.V. Brooke 6. S.J. McLeod 7. O.F. J. Tonu'u 8. A.P. Mehrtens 9. A.F. Blowers 10. C.M. Cullen 11. S.B. T. Fitzpatrick 12. A. Ieremia 13. B.P. Larsen 14. W.K. Little 15. J.T. Lomu 16. J.W. Marshall 17. G.M. Osborne 18. E.J. Rush 19. C.J. Spencer 20. M.R. Allen 21. C.K. Barrell 22. T.J. Blackadder 23. R.M. Brooke 24. O.M. Brown 25. F.E. Bunce 26. P.H. Coffin 27. C.S. Davis 28. C.W. Dowd 29. N.J. Hewitt 30. I.D. Jones 31. M.N. Jones 32. J.A. Kronfeld 33. J.T. F. Matson 34. A.D. Oliver 35. T.C. Randell 36. G.L. Taylor[6]

See also


  1. ^ "Domain parking page".
  2. ^ "1013th All Black Game - Rugby Museum". Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  3. ^ "1015th All Black Game - Rugby Museum". Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  4. ^ "1017th All Black Game - Rugby Museum". Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  5. ^ Mick Cleary and John Griffiths, ed. (1997). Rothmans Rugby Union Yearbook 1997–98. London: Headline Book Publishing. ISBN 0-7472-7732-X.
  6. ^ "Rugbymuseum.co.nz". Archived from the original on 27 September 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2011.