Daan Retief scores the equalizer in the farthest corner The next try in Pretoria in the first test against the ’63 Wallabies Is scored by a new player from Natal, a student. It’s the debut of a small flanker, the start of a big career He would play in 25 tests for South Africa He would also lead his country He would also step on toes Because he is fearlessly outspoken He doesn’t hide what he believes deep in his heart Tommy, with all respect, you don’t have the traditional build of a forward in a Springbok jersey Did you realize it and did you have to compensate for it in the way you played? Well, I wondered if I would ever fit into a Springbok game plan Because the Springboks of yesteryear played such tight games And we in Natal were established as a team who liked to run with the ball To win more advantage with the ball rather than to kick and play 10 man rugby And I think a lot of the Springbok teams were inclined to play ten man rugby And when I was first selected for South Africa, my weight was 170 pounds Maybe a little less, although the statistics showed I weighed a 183 pounds So you already lied at that time? [Laughs] Yes, but what could a little guy like me do in a ten man rugby game plan? And that was very frustrating for me A try by Doug Hopwood, close to the posts After Tommy Bedford and Nelie Smith handled the ball

Springbok Rugby – The Greatest Ever No. 8’s
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19 thoughts on “Springbok Rugby – The Greatest Ever No. 8’s

  • July 8, 2016 at 9:02 am
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    I don't know who your panel of judges consist off, but to leave out Morne du Plessis from this group, indicates to me that somewhere along the line, you slipped-up. I would rate him next to Hennie Muller for sure. I would like to hear others comments in this regard.

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  • July 10, 2016 at 8:33 am
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    Yes every man has his own opinion.
    I do not agree with Vermeulen and Morne du Plessis is not in my top 5.
    I rank Pierre Spies in the top 5.

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  • July 10, 2016 at 7:26 pm
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    Always difficult and a bit unfair to rate players from amateur against proffessional eras. Then again. There is a vast difference between rugby in the 80's and rugby between 1950's-70's. I would rate Gary Teichman, Vermeulen, Skinstadt and Spies (up untill 2010) as our best nr.8's in the Pro era. The ability to attack the advantage line is one of the trademarks of nr 8's in the modern game. Vermeulen's defense and positional play must be one of the best of our times.
    Morne Plessis must definitely count among the top 3 Springbok eightmen in the amateur era. I read a lot about Muller but never saw him play. There was also Jannie Breedt , Nic Mallet and then unfortunates like Pote Fourie whom never made a Springbok squad.

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  • July 19, 2016 at 6:03 pm
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    The jury is still out on Vermeulen I think.

    Morné du Plessis should have been included instead.

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  • September 18, 2016 at 10:37 am
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    Hennie Muller obviously left his mark here in New Zealand because even today all around New Zealand our school, and provincial teams teams still use the notorious 'Hennie Muller's' training as punishment and for fitness!

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  • September 20, 2016 at 12:39 pm
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    No Gary Teichmann? You're kidding???

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  • October 19, 2016 at 12:52 pm
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    skinstaad , spies , teichmann ???? fm france

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  • December 11, 2016 at 8:16 am
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    Ashton missing a tackle … No shock there

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  • May 22, 2017 at 6:38 pm
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    No Gary Teichmann! What bullshit!

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  • June 22, 2017 at 4:37 am
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    vermeulen lol he should be renamed injured vermeulen . my opinion he shouldn't be on the best list .

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  • September 29, 2017 at 10:50 pm
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    I think you must redo the list; Teichmann . . . Skinstad (who everyone acknowledges was ahead of his time)
    And of course, what about Morne Du Plessis?

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  • June 25, 2018 at 4:03 pm
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    Your point on this being a personal opinion accepted. However, I do tend to agree that Teichmann should be a part of the list, and judging by the comments, it would be interesting to know why you believe some of the others like Doug Hopwood or Daan Retief deserved a place ahead of him. As for Morne du Plessis, again, the same can be said although perhaps to a lesser extent. Both these guys were at the same time great leaders, Gary perhaps more so considering his record. Biggest mistake Mallet ever made was dropping Teichmann. To this day there are people who will find it difficult to forgive him for such an obvious coaching blunder.

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  • September 5, 2018 at 2:23 pm
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    The list of missing players not even mentioned is a disgrace. Morné du Plessis, Bobby Skinstadt, Gary Teichman, Jannie Breedt to name but a few. This would have been so much better as a top 10 not a top 5.

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  • September 16, 2018 at 5:30 am
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    You are all unashamedly referring and lauding Springbok "greats" from yesteryear but forgetting, deliberately or through ignorance or being in denial that all those mentioned were "White" Springboks and therefore not at all representative of the country.

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  • March 16, 2019 at 5:33 am
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    What about Morne Du Plessis, Jan Ellis, Rob Louw.

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  • March 28, 2019 at 5:34 pm
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    Gary Teichmann should be on this list, and possibly Pierre Spies

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  • April 3, 2019 at 4:41 am
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    No Morne du Plessis! Oh well I'll wait for the greatest Springbok managers then

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  • May 29, 2019 at 2:37 pm
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    Vermulan is the best springbok 8th man ever. Can do anything, be it carrying tackling, stealing which you can't say for Teichman.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 2:38 pm
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    Skinstad and Spies ,both ruck inspectors.

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