Ranking South Africa’s rugby stars by their social media followers

Ranking South Africa’s rugby stars by their social media followers

As South Africa gear up for their highly-anticipated Rugby World Cup semi-final match against 2019 final rivals England, the Springboks' popularity is bound to grow.

Here, SABC Sport ranks the Springboks players according to their social media following.

10. Lukhanyo Am (@lukhanyo_12) - 114K followers

Labelled one of rugby's forces to be reckoned with, the Sharks player has a good number of Instagram followers at 114K.

The Springbok centre made his Test debut in 2017 in Wales, and has only grown in popularity since then, delivering a memorable performance against England in the 2019 RWC final.

On his Instagram page you can find a range of lifestyle and sponsored content, as well as regular updates on the player's career. Lukhanyo's Twitter page currently sits at 1,409 followers, and consists mostly of sports and lifestyle updates. You can find him on X @AmLukhanyo.

9. Duane Vermeulen (@customs08) - 164K followers

The effervescent back-rower is set to retire after the global showpiece, but not without an exceptional career under his belt. At 37 years young, he has seen most of what international rugby has to offer. Apart from being a mainstay in the Bok team since 2012, Veremulen has run out for four local franchises, as well as Toulon, Kubota Spears and Ulster.

His Instagram page, with 164K followers, consists of lifestyle posts that give followers a peek into the athlete's life, as well as regular updates on his rugby career.

8. Willie Le Roux (@wjjleroux) - 168K followers

Willie Le Roux is recognised as one of the Springboks’ best players. The fullback has played for a range of local teams such as the Sharks and Cheetahs, and began playing for the national team during the South African Quadrangular 2013 tournament.

The 34-year-old's Instagram page boasts numerous posts showcasing the athlete's performances, his lifestyle and family life. On X, you can find him using the handle @wjjleroux, which has garnered up to 77.5K followers.

7. Cobus Reinach (@cobus.reinach) - 206K followers

Son of former Springbok winger Jaco Reinach, Cobus made his Springboks debut at the age of 24 to secure a standout international rugby career.

The scrum-half recently made a memorable performance at the RWC tournament by scoring the second-fastest World Cup hat-trick against Romania, with the Boks winning 76-0.

He sits at number 7 with an Instagram following of 206K followers, and 55,9K followers on X, where you can find him with the username @c_reinach.

6. Jesse Kriel (@jessekriel15) - 222K followers

The 29-year-old began playing for South Africa in 2015. The Springboks centre has played for local teams that include the Blue Bulls and Canon Eagles, and is rated the best defensive 13 in the country by fans and pundits alike.

Jesse finds himself at sixth position with an impressive 222K Instagram followers, showcasing a variety of athletic content on his page. You can find him on X with the username @JesseKriel15.

5. Handre Pollard (@handrepollard) - 245K followers

Fly-half Handre Pollard began playing for the national team in 2015, and is known as the third-highest Test points scorer in Springbok rugby history.

The 29-year-old recently managed to help secure the Springboks’ victory against France in the quarter-final leg of the Rugby World Cup tournament by scoring a long-range penalty that put the Boks in the lead.

He comes in at fifth place with 245K followers on Instagram, showcasing his aesthetic and exciting lifestyle to fans on the platform.

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4. Eben Etzebeth (@ebenetzebeth4) - 369K followers

Etzebeth made his Springboks debut in 2012 and has since won over 100 caps and secured his position as one of the national team's greatest players. The number four lock currently plays for the Sharks.

The 31-year-old displays exciting travel and sports content to his 369K Instagram followers, and has 134,1K followers on X, where he occasionally provides updates on his rugby career.

3. Faf de Klerk (@fafster09) - 391K followers

Faf de Klerk of South Africa salutes the supporters

The powerful scrum-half is known for his formidable performances that mark both his local and national rugby careers. Notably winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup with the Boks and sporting his South African flag underwear, Faf has become an icon in South African rugby.

De Klerk has played for local teams including the Sale Sharks and Lions, and made his international debut with the Springboks in 2016.

The 31-year-old has amassed 391K followers on Instagram, and 43,3K on X where you can find him using the handle @fafdeklerk.

2. Cheslin Kolbe (@cheslinkolbe) - 502K followers

The Olympic Sevens bronze medallist has a host of accolades attached to his stellar career, so it's no surprise he finds himself in second spot with 502K Instagram followers.

The Springbok wing has an active social media presence, with a page that is dedicated to rugby union and World Cup updates, including a few snapshots with his family. Kolbe has 80K followers on X, where he posts regular WC updates on the platform as well.

1. Siya Kolisi (@siyakolisi) - 863K followers

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi is one of the most prominent figures of international rugby. The talismanic loose forward made his international debut at just 21 against Scotland, making the start of an inspirational career.

Apart from his rugby career, the 32-year-old is the founder of non-profit organisation the Kolisi Foundation, adding philanthropic work to his long list of accolades.

He boasts an impressive 863K following on Instagram, with an active page that features wholesome lifestyle and sports content. On X, you can find him under the username @SiyaKolisi with 65,8K followers.

By Shameeka Voyiya

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