Player ratings: Best Springboks of 2023!

As the year draws to a close, we hand out some key player ratings to the top Springboks who excelled during an unforgettable 2023 season.

Not to be overlooked is the fact that the Springboks won 11 of their 13 games in 2023, including a thrilling World Cup final victory over the All Blacks.

Over the course of four years, this generation of Springboks has won two World Cup titles, a British & Irish Lions series, and solidified their place as the greatest “Cup” team of all time. They have demonstrated that they possess the most amazing Big Match Temperament.

Looking back on 2023, we award some special ratings to the players who, in our opinion, really distinguished themselves for the Springboks this season, without regard to order.


After finishing 2022 as the team’s chosen flyhalf, many may have believed that Willemse was in position to challenge for the No. 10 shirt when the 2023 Test season got underway.

In the All Blacks’ mid-July loss in Auckland, Willemse did start at number 10, but the Springboks determined that he was more effective at fullback after that.

Ultimately, the 25-year-old beat off seasoned player Willie le Roux to start seven Test matches in the No. 15 jersey, including every World Cup playoff match.

Willemse had again another incredible season, exhibiting remarkable maturity and poise in addition to providing a genuine threat with his game-changing offensive prowess.

Now that he has made 39 Test appearances, he is undoubtedly capable of becoming another Springbok centurion, especially given his youth.

Unexpected highlights included his huge post-match celebrations following the World Cup championship, and his smart call for a scrum after taking a “mark” inside the Springboks’ 22 during the quarterfinal match against France.

For Willemse, who has actually matured, it was a year to celebrate.


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