WORLD CHAMPIONS, the story of South African rugby

: Winch (J.)

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450pp., illus., paperback, Cape Town, 2022


The history of South African rugby from its establishment in the Cape in 1879 through to the 2019 World Cup championship.

"South Africa has developed a reputation as a sports-mad country, but till recently historians have lagged behind in coming to academic grips with its multi-faceted sporting past. Increasingly, however, books and articles have appeared which looked beyond the scoreboard and sought to unravel the often-complicated linkages between sport and society ... In this book, Jonty Winch has admirably demonstrated his mastery of the relevant literature to provide a wide-ranging, balanced, informed and eminently readable overview of South African rugby. In taking a long view of the game, Winch succeeds in providing new perspectives of apartheid as well as anti-apartheid politics and sport." Albert Grundlingh, Emeritus Professor, Department of History, Stellenbosch University

"The first comprehensive record of rugby in South Africa in which the black contribution and legacy is not 'ghettoised' and presented as a mere footnote of history ... This book sets the standard against which all others will be measured as historians continue to research and rewrite South Africa's sport history in order to deal with the unfinished business of the past and its meaning for the nation today." Hendrik Snyders, National Museum, Bloemfontein

Jonty Winch's books on South African sports history include Cricket and Conquest: The history of South African cricket retold, 1795-1914 (co-authored with André Odendaal, Krish Reddy and Christopher Merrett) and Too Black to Wear Whites, the remarkable story of Krom Henricks, a cricket hero who was rejected by Cecil John Rhodes's empire (co-authored with Richard Parry).