Bobby Skinstad

Bobby Skinstad was the original impact player. Learn about his life and career with Rugby365, your resident rugby gurus. Click here for more.

Bob Skinstad Biography

Bobby Skinstad was born on 3 July 1976 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He later attended Hilton College in KwaZulu-Natal before joining Stellenbosch University. 

Bobby Skinstad was eligible to represent three countries at International level with a choice of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ireland through his Irish mother who hails from County Louth. 

By choosing to remain in South Africa, Skinstad represented Western Province in the Currie Cup and Super 12. He then went on to captain both sides before moving to the Lions in Johannesburg. 

Having represented South Africa at all levels, including captaining the Under-21 Springbok side in 1996 and 1997, and playing for the SA Sevens team in 1997, Bobby Skinstad made his d├ębut for the Springboks as a replacement on 29 November 1997 against England. In all, he played 42 Tests for the Springboks, scoring 11 tries.

His inclusion in the 1999 Rugby World Cup squad at the expense of successful captain Gary Teichmann was highly controversial. Although South Africa finished third in the competition, there were many who believed that Teichmann should have been retained as captain for that tournament. Bobby Skinstad carried a leg injury into the competition, and made little impression.

However, it was his consistent performances as both a flank and No.8 that saw Bobby Skinstad go on to represent his national side more than 40 times, taking part in the 2009 Rugby World Cup and acting as Springbok captain from 2003, a role he had taken on for South African junior teams and domestically, highlighting his obvious leadership capabilities. In total, Skinstad captained the Springboks in 12 Tests.

Bobby Skinstad enjoyed quite a remarkable and incredibly decorated career. The Rugby World Cup winner won several Currie Cup titles as well as the Tri-Nations (now The Rugby Championship). Alongside his 10-year career for the Springboks, domestically he wore the jersey of Western Province before turning to franchise rugby to play for the Sharks, Stormers and Cats before semi-retirement took him to England. 

The charismatic captain has said that the Rugby World Cup was one of the greatest highlights of his professional career. He also briefly played for the Welsh side the Newport Gwent Dragons before retiring from the game in 2007.

A regular fixture in the notorious Barbarians team, Bobby Skinstad also worked extensively as an analyst and occasional presenter covering the Super 14, Currie Cup and NPC Tournaments for Sky Sports, further emphasising and strengthening his credentials and content as a rugby speaker.

Bobby Skinstad was the co-founder of the Cape Town Tens Rugby Festival and the famous Toad Restaurants. He now lives with his family in London and immerses himself in the world of technology investment.