Springbok World Cup winner Percy Montgomery was the first South African to play 100 Test matches and he will be joined by four other Springbok centurions at the launch of the newly formed Rugby Centurions Society.
Montgomery, the record points scorer for the Springboks, is also the only Springbok to score more than 100 points in the World Cup. He kicked 12 points in South Africa’s 15-6 win against England in the 2007 final.
Montgomery played his 100th Test at Newlands against the All Blacks in 2008. It was poignant given he was schooled at South Africa’s oldest school SACS just up the road from the famous Cape stadium. Montgomery also played at Newlands in the SA Schools team curtain-raiser when the Springboks played Australia in 1992.
SACS produced the first ever name read in a Springbok squad in Ben Duff and the school also boasts the first player to make it to 100 Tests.
Montgomery’s 2007 World Cup-winning teammates John Smit, Jean de Villiers, Victor Matfield and Bryan Habana subsequently also joined the centurions club.
Rugby legend Richie McCaw in 2011 became the first ever All Black to play 100 Tests and incumbent captain Kieran Read is the latest All Blacks member of the esteemed club.
The inaugural launch of Rugby’s Centurions Society will be at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in London on November 23, 2017.
To date, 49 players have represented their countries in 100 Tests – or more.
The Centurion Foundation will promote rugby at grassroots level and support promising new talent on the rugby field.
Other planned projects include erecting plaques of honour for each Rugby Centurion, creating art collections and illustrated books that celebrate the history and greatest rugby moments of each of these unique players, producing a documentary, and even creating a clothing line.
Smit has been named managing custodian of the Centurion Foundation.