Joel Theodore Stransky (born 16 July 1967) is a former South African rugby union rugby player, most notable for scoring all of South Africa's points, including the famous dramatic winning drop goal, against New Zealand in the 1995 Rugby World Cup final. He played as a fly-half.

Early life

Stransky was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.[1] He is of English and Czech descent[2] and Jewish on his father's side.[3] He was educated at Maritzburg College where he was coached under Skonk Nicholson, a well-known figure in schoolboy rugby. After his military conscription in Pretoria, he returned to Natal to study at the University of Natal.


In 1990 he was part of the Natal team that beat Northern Transvaal to win the Currie Cup for the first time, before he moved to Italy where he played for L'Aquila during the season 1991–92 and for San Donà in the 1992–93. Between 1993 and 1996, he gained 22 caps for his country.

In 1995 he was part of the first South African rugby union team to play in a Rugby World Cup. South Africa had been banned from the previous World Cups because of the Apartheid regime. He played an integral part in the South African team and scored all the points for his team in the World Cup final against New Zealand, including a drop goal in the second period of extra time. This was the first Rugby World Cup final that went into extra time.

In 1997, he moved to Leicester Tigers, where he would play for a couple of seasons, winning the 1998–99 Allied Dunbar Premiership, and then become backs coach.

In the buildup to the 1999 Rugby World Cup, it was suggested that Stransky could play for England. However, he discovered that he was not qualified to do so.[4] He had also sustained a knee injury which made him an unsuitable candidate at the time.

In 2002, he was engaged by Bristol Rugby as a coach, but the offer was subsequently withdrawn. Stransky took legal action and was compensated.[5]

He later returned to South Africa, and is a part-time rugby union television commentator.

In January 2007, Joel Stransky joined Altech Netstar (Pty) Ltd. as the Sales & Marketing director. In January 2008, he was appointed managing director, but has subsequently resigned. He was then employed by the Steinhoff Group in a marketing and promotional capacity, but has since moved on as a director of Pivotal Capital.

In film

In the 2009 movie Invictus, he is portrayed by Scott Eastwood.