Five memorable England v South Africa matches

Colin Newboult

South Africa's John Smit lifts the cup

As England and South Africa prepare for the Rugby World Cup final in Yokohama, here are five unforgettable clashes between the teams.

The Springboks hold the upper hand in the head-to-head record between the two countries, winning 25 of 42 matches and drawing twice, and the Press Association news agency takes a look back at some memorable previous encounters.

1999: South Africa 44 England 21

Springbok fly-half Jannie De Beer kicked 34 points, including a world record five drop-goals, as the reigning World Cup champions destroyed England in their quarter-final at the Stade de France in Paris. South Africa went on to finish third in the competition after losing to eventual winners Australia in the last four.

2000: South Africa 22 England 27

Before a 25-10 success in Cape Town in June 2018, England’s only other victory on South African soil during the past 25 years came in Bloemfontein. Fly-half Jonny Wilkinson slotted eight penalties and a drop-goal as Clive Woodward’s side claimed a series-levelling win from a pulsating second Test at the Free State Stadium.

2007: England 6 South Africa 15

Far from a classic, the only previous World Cup final meeting between the sides was decided with the boot as South Africa ended England’s reign as world champions in Paris. The Springboks, who hammered their opponents 36-0 in the pool stage, won the tournament for the second time thanks to four penalties from Percy Montgomery and another from Frans Steyn.

2016: England 37 South Africa 21

England stretched their perfect record under Eddie Jones to 10 matches at a rain-soaked Twickenham. The hosts had failed to beat the Springboks in their previous 12 meetings over 10 years, including a humbling 42-6 home loss in 2008, but, after a Six Nations Grand Slam in March and a whitewash of Australia in June, the November internationals began with more history being made.

2018: South Africa 42 England 39

England lost their fourth Test in a row as South Africa launched an astonishing fightback at Ellis Park to give head coach Rassie Erasmus a first victory since replacing Allister Coetzee. Jones’ men raced into a 24-3 lead in Johannesburg but the Springboks turned it around to lead 29-27 at the break before a late Handre Pollard penalty proved decisive to put Erasmus’ side on course for series win.