World Rugby Hall of Fame – Induction No.103 – Hendrik Scholtz Vosloo Muller (South Africa, Transvaal, Western Province) 1922-1977
One of 25 legends inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame at Wembley Stadium, London, on 20 September, 2015.
Born: March 26, 1922, in Witbank, Transvaal, South Africa
Died: 26 April, 1977 in Cape Town, South Africa
Hennie Muller was a lightning quick number 8 who led what many people consider to be the finest of all touring Springbok teams. On the 1951-52 tour of Europe, Muller captained South Africa to a Grand Slam of wins over England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. For good measure they also beat France as they won all but one of the 31 matches played.
The foundations for this all-conquering Springbok team were laid in the home series against New Zealand in 1949. Muller made his debut in the first test and was an ever-present throughout as the Springboks produced a 4-0 whitewash. Muller splintered the All Blacks’ attacking plays with his remarkable line speed and destructive tackling. Supremely fit, Muller devised a high intensity sprint training drill that is still used to this day and is named after him.
In 13 tests, between 1949 and 1953, Muller was on the losing side only once – against Australia in Cape Town. He went on to coach the Springboks in the early to mid-60s.