After represented South Africa at all levels, including captaining the U21 Springbok side in 1996 and 1997 and playing for the SA Sevens team in 1997, Skinstad made his debut for the Springboks off the replacements bench against England at Twickenham on November 29, 1997.
The Zimbabwean born back rower was utilised as an impact player with great effect early on in his Springbok career. He scored a crucial try in South Africa’s winning Tri-Nations campaign in 1998 against the All Blacks and followed it up with a memorable try against the Wallabies a week later where a show of the ball and centre-like sidestep saw him dive over under the posts.
In 1999, Skinstad was controversially included in the World Cup squad at the expense of successful captain Gary Teichmann. There were reports that the decision caused a rift within the squad but the Boks still managed to finish third after narrowly losing to Australia in extra time in the semi-finals.
Two years later, Skinstad captained the Springboks for the first time in the Test against Italy in Port Elizabeth. He led the national side on 12 occasions with the Boks winning six, losing five and drawing one. After a stint in Europe, Skinstad made a successful return to South African rugby by playing himself into the 2007 World Cup squad.
He captained the side in the pool game against Tonga in which he finished off a superb team try and came off the bench in a further three games. His cameo in the semi-final clash against Argentina would prove to be his last as he announced his retirement shortly after the tournament.
Records/Honours:SA Young Player of the Year nominee, 1997Currie Cup winner with Western Province, 1997, 2000 & 2001SA Player of the Year nominee, 1998Tri-Nations winner, 1998Member of the World Cup winning Springbok squad, 2007Captained the Springboks on 12 occasions