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A big man with a big personality, Frik du Preez was a superb all-round athlete who made his name for Northern Transvaal as a goal-kicking flank forward before winning his first Springbok cap in a 5-0 win over England in 1961.

When he retired 10 years later, after the final match of the test series against Australia in Sydney, he was South Africa’s most-capped player with 38 test appearances. In total, he played 87 games for the Springboks and scored 87 points.

In eight tests against the British and Irish Lions, across the 1962 and 1968 series, he was never on the losing side. His only international try came in the latter series in Pretoria when a 40-metre burst of pace and a shimmy of the hips proved too much for the Lions’ defence.

In 2000, South African rugby supporters voted for him as their greatest player of the 20th century. 

  • Players View

    I've always found it difficult to give an adequate description of Frik du Preez because he was a forward and a back rolled into one. To my mind he could have played anywhere on the field with equal brilliance.

    -Danie Craven