Springboks

Springbok legend Ellis dies

2013-02-08 17:10
Jan Ellis (Supplied)
The South African Rugby Union on Friday expressed its deep sadness at the passing of legendary former Springbok looseforward, Jan Ellis.

The one-time joint record holder for the number of Springbok caps succumbed to cancer at a hospice in Pretoria after suffering from the disease for some time. He celebrated his 71st birthday in January.

Jan Ellis ranks as an all-time Springbok great and one of the outstanding loose forwards of his era. He played in 38 of the 39 Tests that the Springboks played between his debut in 1965 and his final test in 1976. Had he played in the professional era his 12-season career would have resulted in a century of Test appearances.

“Our condolences go to Jan’s family and his friends,” said Mr Oregan Hoskins, president of the South African Rugby Union. “Jan Ellis was one of the greatest Springbok loose forwards of any era. He was one of those unbelievably tough Springbok forwards for which our country is renowned.

“He was a fixture in the Springbok team for more than a decade and will be fondly remembered by the older generation.”

Ellis was born in Brakpan but moved to South West Africa (what is now known as Namibia) as a child.

He went to school in in the sheep and cattle farming town of Gobabis and, as a raw-boned, red-headed youngster, won selection for South West Africa and earned a place at Springbok trials having played at lock against the 1964 British & Irish Lions.

He earned his first cap on the Springbok tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1965, making his Test debut in the first of four Tests against New Zealand in Wellington at the age of 22. He was not to lose his starting place until his 34th year.

He was an obsessive trainer and his speed and fitness led him to score seven Test tries and a phenomenal 32 in the 74 appearances he made in all Springbok matches. He made his final appearance in a 16-7 win over the 1976 All Blacks in Durban, equalling Frik du Preez’s record of 38 Springbok Test appearances.

Ellis was shot in an armed robbery in Pretoria in December 2000, since when his health had suffered.

He is survived by his wife Heila, a son and daughter and five grandchildren – one of whose weddings he attended on Saturday.

Read more on:    rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Hartley sees red for elbow

2014-12-20 19:51

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
43 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

The five candidates for SA Player of the Year have been revealed. Who gets your vote?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.