Renowned British rugby scribe Stephen Jones has included two Springbok teams in his list of the top 10 Test teams of all-time.
Writing for the UK-based The Times, Jones ranked the All Blacks team of the mid-1990s as the best ever, despite them losing the 1995 World Cup final 15-12 to South Africa.
He included Nick Mallett’s Springboks – who won a then world record-equalling 17 Tests in a row from 1997 to 1998 – at No 5 on the list.
Rassie Erasmus’ 2019 World Cup-winning Boks, who beat England 32-12 in the final in Yokohama, also round out the top 10.
Jones ranked England’s 2003 World Cup-winning team in second place, saying the Clive Woodward-coached outfit was “so good that they were actually a little past their peak by the time of the tournament.”
England beat Australia 20-17 after extra-time in the 2003 final in Sydney.
Stephen Jones’ top 10 Test teams of all-time:
1st: All Blacks team of the mid-1990s
2nd: England team that won the 2003 World Cup
3rd: All Blacks team that won the 2015 World Cup
4th: Wales team of the early 1970s
5th: 1997-98 Springbok team
6th: England’s squad that won three Grand Slams between 1991 and 1995
7th: Ireland’s 2018 Grand Slam-winning team
8th: England’s 2016 Grand Slam-winning team
9th: Wales’ Grand Slam-winning teams under Warren Gatland
10th: Springbok team that won the 2019 World Cup