World XV

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A World XV is a rugby union team, typically composed of invited players from various countries. Various World XVs have been arranged from time to time, often to take part in celebration and testimonial games, usually against national teams; recent World XV games have generally not been considered test matches.


There have been a number of incarnations of a World XV:

1977 World XV in South Africa[edit]

A World XV played against South Africa on 27 August 1977 at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria. The World side included Gareth Edwards, JPR Williams, Willie John McBride, and Sandy Carmichael. A crowd of 65,000 watched as Morné du Plessis' South Africans led by 22-14 at half-time to eventually defeat the World XV by 45-24. During the match Argentinian flyhalf Hugo Porta came on as a replacement. Flank Theuns Stofberg added two tries to one each by Gerrie Germishuys, Hermanus Potgieter ,[1] Dawie Snyman, and Barry Wolmarans (on debut) for the Springboks.[2]

27 August 1977
South Africa 45–24 World XV
Try: B. Wolmarans
D. Snyman
G. Germishuys
H. Potgieter
T. Stofberg (2)
Con: R. Blair(3)
Pen: R. Blair
Try: A. Haden
J-L. Averous (2)
P. McLean
Con: P. McLean(4)
Loftus Versfeld
Attendance: 65,000
Referee: S. Johan Gouws
FB 15 Dawie Snyman
RW 14 Hermanus Potgieter
OC 13 Dirk Froneman
IC 12 Christo Wagenaar
LW 11 Gerrie Germishuys
FH 10 Robbie Blair
SH 9 Barry Wolmarans
N8 8 Morné du Plessis (c)
BF 7 Theuns Stofberg
OF 6 Piet Veldsman
RL 5 Louis Moolman
LL 4 Moaner van Heerden
TP 3 Daan Du Plessis
HK 2 Robert Cockrell
LP 1 Nic Bezuidenhout
WG 16 Edrich Krantz
FH 17 De Wet Ras
SH 18 Gert Schutte
HK 19 Ewoud Malan
PR 20 Martiens Le Roux
LK 21 Corrie Pypers
South Africa
FB 15 Wales JPR Williams
RW 14 Wales Gerald Davies
OC 13 Argentina Alejandro Travaglini
IC 12 New Zealand Bill Osborne
LW 11 France J-L. Averous
FH 10 Australia Paul McLean
SH 9 Wales Gareth Edwards
N8 8 New Zealand Alan Sutherland
OF 7 France J-P. Rives
BF 6 New Zealand Ian Kirkpatrick
RL 5 New Zealand Andy Haden
LL 4 Ireland Willie John McBride (c)
TP 3 New Zealand Billy Bush
HK 2 New Zealand Tane Norton
LP 1 France Gérard Cholley
WG 16 Ireland Mick Quinn
FH 17 Argentina Hugo Porta
SH 18 England Malcolm Young
HK 19 France Alain Paco
LK 20 Argentina José Fernández
LK 21 New Zealand Pole Whiting
Ireland Syd Millar

Four days later the World XV played Western Province at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town. This time Porta started alongside Williams, McBride, and Carmichael, with Alan Sutherland facing off against Du Plessis. At 3.30pm Coloured player Errol Tobias, representing the South African Federation, was on the reserve bench for the World XV, as he had been for the 2pm match between a Presidents' X and Western Province B.[3]

1980s World XV tours in Argentina[edit]

World XVs played two matches against Argentina in the 1980s, losing both: 36–22 in 1980, and 28–20 in 1983. At this time, before the inception of regular international competitions, both Argentina and apartheid-era South Africa struggled to organise matches against other major rugby countries.

1980 World XV tour of Argentina - the match[edit]

The match was played at Ferrocaril Oeste, Buenos Aires.[4] Argentina went into half time ahead by 16 points to nil and despite an excellent display in the second half by the World XV Argentina were able to secure a 36-22 win.

August 9, 1980
Argentina 36 – 22 World XV
Try: Campo
Mastai 2
Sansot 2
Con:Porta 4
Try: Fenwick

Slemen 2
Ferrocaril Oeste, Buenos Aires
Referee: S Strydom (South Africa)

Argentina: Martin Sansot; Marcelo Campo; Rafael Madero; Marcelo Loffreda; Adolfo Cappelletti; Hugo Porta (captain); Tomas Landajo; Fernando Morel; Alejandro Cubelli; Topo Rodriguez; Ernesto Ure; Alejandro Iachetti; Gabriel Travaglini; Hector Silva; Ricardo Mastai; Replacements: Used: Daniel Baetti; Not used:: Alejandro Cerioni; Javier Perez Cobo; Marcos Iachetti; Alfredo Soares Gache; Juan Pablo Piccardo

World XV: Kevin O'Brien ( Ireland); Mike Slemen ( England), Roland Bertranne ( France), Steve Fenwick ( Wales), Bruce Gemmell ( New Zealand); Bernard Vivies ( France), Jacques Fouroux ( France); Robert Paparemborde ( France), Jean-Louis Dupont ( France), John Doubleday ( England), Maurice Colclough ( England), Nicholas Martin ( England), Jean-Pierre Rives ( France), Alistair MacGregor Martin ( Chile), John Scott ( England); Replacements: Used: Barry Ninnes ( England)

1986 IRB sanctioned teams[edit]

  • In 1986, to celebrate the centenary of the International Rugby Board (IRB), two international XVs were put together:
a Rest of the World XV played the British Lions on 16 April 1986, winning 15-7 at Cardiff Arms Park.
an Overseas Unions rugby union team played the Five Nations XV on Saturday, 19 April 1986, winning 32-13 at Twickenham Stadium.

1989 World XV tour of South Africa[edit]

1992 World XV tour of New Zealand[edit]

Game one: World XV won 28-14; Game two: Lost 26-54; Game three: lost 15-26

2006 Steinhoff Holdings World XVs[edit]

  • In May and June 2006 a World XV, sponsored by South African company Steinhoff Holdings and coached by Bob Dwyer, played three games - against Saracens in London, then against South Africa at Ellis Park and Western Province XV at Newlands. The latter match was a testimonial for former South Africa captain Corné Krige, who led the Western Province side. In December 2006, again coached by Dwyer, a Steinhoff-backed World XV played a South Africa XV at Walkers Stadium in Leicester, losing 32-7. This game was to mark the centenary of South Africa's overseas tours.

2008 Williams Testimonial World XV[edit]

2008 IRB sanctioned World XV in Tonga[edit]

  • In July 2008 an IRB-sanctioned World XV were beaten 60-26 by a Coronation Tongan XV in a game to celebrate the coronation of Tonga's King George Tupou V. The World XV was captained by former Wales captain Colin Charvis and included players from Australia, England, Fiji, New Zealand, Samoa and Wales.[6]

2014 South Africa match[edit]

In June 2014, the Springboks played a non-test match at Cape Town against World XV.[7] Coached by Nick Mallett, the World XV squad, named in June 2014, were:[8]

Backs: James O’Connor (London Irish, Australia – 44 Test caps), Drew Mitchell (Toulon, Australia – 63), Hosea Gear (Toulouse, New Zealand – 14), Sitiveni Sivivatu (Clermont, New Zealand – 45), Aurelien Rougerie (Clermont, France – 71), Rene Ranger (Montpelier, New Zealand – 6), Matt Giteau (Toulon, Australia – 92), François Trinh-Duc (Montpelier, France – 48), Rory Kockott (Castres, South Africa – uncapped) and Jimmy Cowan (Gloucester, New Zealand – 51)

Forwards: Steffon Armitage (Toulon, England – 5 Test caps), Alexandre Lapandry (Clermont, France – 6), Roger Wilson (Ulster, Ireland – 1), Mamuka Gorgodze (Montpellier, Georgia – 51), Alistair Hargreaves (Saracens, South Africa – 4), Joe Tekori (Toulouse, Samoa – 26), Juandré Kruger (Racing Metro, South Africa – 17), Craig Burden (Toulon, South Africa – uncapped), Andrew Hore (New Zealand – 83), Schalk Ferreira (Toulouse, South Africa – uncapped), Sona Taumalolo (Perpignan, Tonga – 5), Julian Redelinghuys (Lions, South Africa – uncapped) and Carl Hayman (Toulon, New Zealand – 45).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hermanus Potgieter Scores During the Match Between a World XV and South Africa, 27 August 1977. Accessed: 2012-12-31. YouTube link..
  2. ^ "World XV tour - Pretoria, 27 August 1977. South Africa (22) 45 - 24 (12) World XV (FT)". Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  3. ^ "1977 Western Province V World XV Rugby Programme". Archived from the original on 2013-01-01. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  4. ^ match summary for 1980 World XV vs Argentina
  5. ^ Centenary Matches in New Zealand
  6. ^ Tonga beat World XV
  7. ^ Springboks to open season against World XV - TVNZ, 8 April 2014
  8. ^ World XV's final squad confirmed