Ex Bok trio in Hall of Fame

2009-10-28 09:02

London - Three former Springboks were inducted into the International Rugby Board’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony at Rugby School in England on Tuesday evening.

Barry “Fairy” Heatlie, Benny Osler and Frik du Preez formed part of a selection of nine legends that were inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame, celebrating the rich history of British & Irish Lions tours to South Africa.

Oregan Hoskins, president of the South African Rugby Union, said he was delighted to have these former Springboks honoured by the IRB.

“The IRB has selected three legends of South African rugby to be inducted into the Hall of Fame and we’re delighted for our sport to be honoured in such a way,” said Hoskins. “They are names that may be lost on the modern generation of rugby supporters but each in their own way was a trail blazer of the game in our country and we can be rightly proud of them.

“Fairy Heatlie captained South Africa to our first ever victory in a Test while Bennie Osler was a genius flyhalf who is credited with inventing the grubber kick and developed flyhalf play as we know it today.

“Frik du Preez is a more modern name and his prowess as a rampaging forward with size, skills and pace is the benchmark against which we judge our forwards to this day.”

The Inductees spanned the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and are, in order of their induction:

No 12: William E. Maclagan (Scotland and British)
No 13: Barry H. Heatlie (South Africa)
No 14: Benjamin L. Osler (South Africa)
No 15: Clifford I. Morgan CVO OBE (Wales and Lions)
No 16: Sir Anthony J.F. O’Reilly (Ireland and Lions)
No 17: Frederick C.H. du Preez (South Africa)
No 18: Dr Sydney Millar CBE (Ireland and Lions)
No 19: William J. McBride (Ireland and Lions)
No 20: Ian R. McGeechan (Scotland and Lions)

Heatlie, who was born in 1872 and passed away in 1951, played against the British touring teams on their tours to South Africa in 1891, 1896 and 1903. He played a total of six Tests for South Africa.

Osler, like Heatlie from Western Province, played a total of 17 Tests for the Springboks between 1924 and 1933, which included the 1924-series against the Lions. He was born in 1901 and passed away in 1962.

Du Preez, who was born in 1935, played 38 Tests and a total of 87 matches for South Africa. He played the Lions twice during his career – in 1962 and 1968. His first Test for the Boks was against England in 1961 and his last against Australia in 1971.

The 2009 induction in the Temple Speech Room also included the inaugural IRB Lecture, given by IRB Council member and 2009 Lions Manager Gerald Davies on the British & Irish Lions and the Spirit of the Game.

This year witnessed the 13th Lions tour to South Africa and provided another memorable chapter in a rich history, which began 118 years ago when William Maclagan led his British team to South Africa in 1891.

“The Lions reflect what we think of as camaraderie and the sense of fun in togetherness which are major selling points in Rugby. There is no division, no exclusion of one set of supporters from another, no barriers,” Davies said in his lecture.

“The Lions represent the last of the Rugby adventures. Ask any player who has been on a Lions tour, his views are expressed with reverence as a treasured moment. Those who have not been wish that they had, or given another chance will go next time.”

Members of the public were invited to vote on nominees from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, giving Rugby fans around the world an opportunity to recognise their most treasured players.

These votes were then compiled before the IRB Hall of Fame Induction Panel, comprising Don Cameron (New Zealand), Gerald Davies (Wales), Henri Garcia (France), Norman Mair (Scotland), Pablo Mamone (Argentina) and Nigel Starmer-Smith (England) selected the nine legends to be inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2009.

“It has been a great pleasure to return to Rugby School and this historic setting has provided the inductees with yet another memorable occasion in their illustrious Rugby careers,” said IRB Vice Chairman Bill Beaumont.

“It has been my great honour and privilege to present the inductees and their representatives whose names are synonymous with the proud history and relationship between South Africa and the Lions.”

Previous IRB Hall of Fame inductees:

2006 – William Webb Ellis and Rugby School
2007 – Baron Pierre de Coubertin, Sir Wilson Whineray, Dr. Danie Craven, Gareth Edwards and John Eales
2008 – 1888 Natives Team of New Zealand and Joe Warbrick, Melrose RFC and Ned Haig, Dr. Jack Kyle, Hugo Porta and Philippe Sella


  • Dave - 2009-10-28 09:27

    Here we go again. Only the Rugby players playing for the Boks before 92 get recognised. What abaout those playing for the Alternative, like the old SARU before unity, when are they gonna get recognition. This must stop now. Either nobody gets its cause it was wrong , Apartheid, or the others should also gets recognition. Please stop this, We were part of SA rugby, although we had the bad part of the stick.

  • mike - 2009-10-28 09:52

    Dave , relax you rbones mate ... they are just recognising players that deserve to be credited in the hall of fame sure that the players of the new SA will included in years to come .....

  • Johann - 2009-10-28 09:55

    Dave this wasn't compiled by any South African it is an international panel. If you wanna cry about someone being left off the list, please direct your complaint towards the IRB Hall of Fame people. I agree we had many great SARU players. but geez mate these are just the first 3 to be inducted - I am sure many players will follow - perhaps even our current coach, whom by the way I think is along with Nick Mallet and Kitch Christie one of the better coaches.

  • Lefty - 2009-10-28 09:58

    Ai Dave kom by man. Gister is verby jammer daaroor. Die "atlternatiewe" het Springbokkleure gekry - wat meer kan mens doen. As jy so sterk voel praat die "Hall of Fame" ouens en hou op om op die blaaie die ou ou deuntjie te sing.

  • G Funk - 2009-10-28 10:00

    Dave you took the words right out of my mouth. Imagine this. Non-whites get discriminated against yet they are they one excluded when such accolades are handed out. This is sick man! If people think the Habana's of today are great, they should've have seen the non white players in the apartheid era. And non of these players(who are being inducted) are gonna be Madiba like and say that this whole thing is wrong. The apartheid goverment really succeeded in marginilising non whites. And yes i am a non white too! Come on all you madiba admirers - don't just admire the man, be like him and speak out about what is wrong. It doesn't make u a traitor.

  • Annoyed - 2009-10-28 10:01

    @dave: Apartheid was from 1948 to 1994, Heatlie and Osler played before then. Get your facts straight before you post silly comments

  • G Funk - 2009-10-28 10:01

    Dave you took the words right out of my mouth. Imagine this. Non-whites get discriminated against yet they are they one excluded when such accolades are handed out. This is sick man! If people think the Habana's of today are great, they should've have seen the non white players in the apartheid era. And non of these players(who are being inducted) are gonna be Madiba like and say that this whole thing is wrong. The apartheid goverment really succeeded in marginilising non whites. And yes i am a non white too! Come on all you madiba admirers - don't just admire the man, be like him and speak out about what is wrong. It doesn't make u a traitor.

  • Peter - 2009-10-28 10:08

    Apartheid in 1903??? - GET REAL PLEASE!!!!!!!

  • @Dave - 2009-10-28 10:09

    Dave. STFU

  • Peter - 2009-10-28 10:09

    Apartheid in 1903??? - GET REAL PLEASE!!!!!!!

  • gybs - 2009-10-28 10:09

    Dave I hear you loud and clear as one who played 22 seasons in the old SARU code - these panels appointed have never (and will never) be told about us!! It requires the SARB to inform them, but SARB is all cosy now and do not want to get their pristine hands dirty in acknowledging our contribution to this country - which is why after so long I still cannot cheer a 'Bok team. And fully endorse the view that the emblem MUST change - 'Bok has very definite and clear Apartheid connotations!! Viva Afrika! Viva Protea!!

  • My_R0.02_Worth - 2009-10-28 10:10

    In the words of "Chappy" ( "Dave, what are you doing?" I hope that you are trying to evoke a response, because I hate to contemplate the alternative. Can you name one player from the SARU days that are internationally known immediately by rugby fans (in the likes of Frik Du Preez)? I am not saying it is right or wrong, but I am saying that the Hall of Fame is intended for famous players.

  • Hendrik - 2009-10-28 10:31

    The word Apartheid might only have been part of legislation from 1948, though that particular use of the word is probably a lot older. The concept was seen in South Africa (or the ZAR at the time) as far back as the imperial motivation for the Jameson raid in the late 19th century and the legislative discrimination definitely started way before 1948. So Dave has a point and the rest of you can argue semantics if you really want to.

  • Green Blood - 2009-10-28 10:34

    The awards are for players that played international rugby. During apartheid years and before non-white players could not represent South Africa and thus could not play international rugby. This was obviously wrong and sad. Imagine how good the springboks would have been if we had Habana’s and Beast’s playing for us in those days. To honour the non-white players of those days we should start our own Hall of Fame. We cannot stop the IRB of inducting White South Africans, but we can honour our own. Apart from that the mistakes of the past have been rectified and we will see the current non-white players in SA being honoured in the future. Looking forward to it.

  • Mike - 2009-10-28 10:35

    Waar is Brussouw?

  • dalema - 2009-10-28 10:36

    @ Dave tell me if there is an equivalent hall of fame for soccer/football players which white South African will be nominated?

  • Paddy - 2009-10-28 10:36

    Stop air punching , Dave !

  • Mike L - 2009-10-28 10:38

    Why dont you guys go buy a whistle and go coach some kids instead of wasting your breath on something thats been deciced and will not be reversed no matter how much you bleet on about it.

  • Soope Koos - 2009-10-28 10:46

    @gybs. Its okey. We don't need your support. Shout for Australia if you want to. And plant proteas in your garden. The players are BOKKE!!! Get it into your narrow mind that the players mentioned here are legends. International legends.

  • Anon - 2009-10-28 10:49

    What is Tony O' Reilly doing there? Just because he is a media mogul, Rugby School (a private school) wants to suck up to him? Sure he was a good player, but no better than Campese or the like. This is a bit of a joke. But for those of us know know Rugby School, the shoe fits. A pathetic list is par for the course.

  • @ Mr0.02 worth from G Funk - 2009-10-28 10:55

    Do u even know half the players that were inducted? Yes u can go google them and cut and paste! But i seriously doubt that u do! Inducting ppl into a hall of fame is not for famous ppl. It's for people who made a significant contribution to the game. U ask us to name a few players of colour prior to 92 who are world famous. I'm sure if u ask frik du preez, he'll also be able to mention a few. and to put it differently to you, if apartheid was't abolished, habana would'nt been IRB player of the year nor would he have been famous. now what u telling us non whites is that never has there been a player of colour worthy of this honour! Don't blame the victim for not getting recognition. I'm sure u didn't know who Basil D' olivera was before he got inducted hey! It wouldn't surprise me if u still don't know. If u(and many other whites) weren't so defensive, u would c y your simplistic argument counts for nothing in a complicated debate like this. don't bring a knife to a gun fight mr R0.02. And here take your 2c with u.

  • Norman - 2009-10-28 11:09

    Hi All I often read your comments and mostly with a sense of no hope for this wonderful country of ours. Attitude chaps!!! Stinking thinking!!! Dave, you are right about the lack of credit given to our Coloured, Black and Indian players many of whom would no doubt have exceeded the excellence of many a springbok player of the past. Yet, my friend I cannot completely agree with you as these springbok players were truly magnificent in their own right and rightly earned the recognition accorded them. As for the denialists, chaps educate yourselves. The laws instituting apartheid as we know it today may not have been promulgated back in 1903 yet history records the practice of apartheid. This does not stop us, however, from recognising and crediting those on both sides of this evil divide with excellent development of their talents. I for one applaud the induction of Osler, Du Preez and Heatlie into the hall of fame. Just cannot wait for our Coloured, Black and Indian players to receive their recognition.

  • nar - 2009-10-28 11:10

    Dave you poepol wake up everything doesnt have to be about apartheid!

  • Johan - 2009-10-28 11:18

    The only reason why we as South Africans can't get away from 'Apartheid', is because it is being used in every discussion, whether it is relevant or not. It is being used as an excuse for not having the will to perform or succeed. Why must every good thing be associated with apartheid? Dave, I am sure that your whole life is a huge 'Excuse' because 15 years back there was something as apartheid. Let me guess, if you step out of your front door, and a bird drops one on you, it is apartheid's fault? If you get a speeding fine, again apartheid's fault. It is never you, right? We as south africans (black or white) are getting so used to being average, because our whole being is an excuse. Dave / Gybs, stop looking in the rearview mirror, and start celebrating the life that is available to you in the new south africa. (That is if you take you 'racist' eye claps off).

  • Jake - 2009-10-28 11:24

    Dave. I assume from your last sentence that you are part of the so called previously disadvantaged. Is this not an International thing? Why bring the old Apartheid thing into an internationally controlled award? Wake up man! So called Apartheid has been dead for 15 years and still you wine about stuff like this. I tell you what; why don't you go and bark up the IRB's tree and see if they care about it. The problem with most of the so called disadvantaged is that they burned down the schools in protest and then complained why they didn't get an education from the whites. They keep on complaining long after the first democratic elections just to excuse the fact that they still don't want to make this work and want everything for nothing. Get out of it and start contributing. Now you will say that I must not generalize like that and I will reply that I will not include you into that generalization unless you made stupid comments like the above. I have the greatest of respect for those that got out the gutter that they were put in and lifted themselves to a better life without blaming others for their own weakness. So, which one are you? Oooh, is this a racial comment or a political comment? I don't care, I am only riding the path which you just pointed out to me. but the difference is you are driving down a dark road with no headlights on, asking why you cannot see and the blame it on Apartheid while all you had to do is flick the headlight switch.

  • Something Fould - 2009-10-28 11:25

    Why must apartheid always be brought into recognising some achievement by other sportsman??. SARB has nothing to do with it - read the article! to repeat : Members of the public were invited to vote on nominees from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, giving rugby fans around the world an opportunity to recognise their most treasured players. So Dave, G Funk and Gybs, what did YOU do about it hey??? Why did you not name your great players and see if they were not voted for a place in the Hall of Fame? Remember this has nothing to do about your race or skin colour, but the greatness you achieved on the world stage. Get over the chips on oyur shoulders.

  • OS - 2009-10-28 11:30

    Let's celebrate the new SA and all our rugby players who have brought recognition to the game. Because cricket was brought into this thread i'm wondering if there should be a similar hall of fame for football/soccer which whitey would be nominated from SA.

  • Dianne - 2009-10-28 11:34

    Gee guys, wake up and smell the smelly rugby socks - nobody young ever or hardly ever, gets inducted into any Hall of Fame anywhere! You must have proved yourself before anyone takes you seriously. which dispenses with most of south africa.

  • Johan - 2009-10-28 11:35

    @Jake & Something Fould - Well said. I can't agree more!

  • Boerseun - 2009-10-28 11:52

    Vrystaat will take the cup and Frik will be the first to congratulate.

  • Os - 2009-10-28 11:57

    there are many SA people of colour who have been recognised on the international stage for various sports such in the various disciplines of athletics, boxing etc. In time to come the hall of fame will have many non white Springboks whom most if not all rugby fanatics respect as the BOKKE. rmember too that we because of the past have lost out on much that SA could offer through people who are similar to todays Julius Malema

  • Dave - 2009-10-28 12:39

    @jake and Co, I see you dont understand my point cause you dont want to. Why should our history be locked up in a closed in Newlands, Why should our history be dumped in a bin. You dont want to accept our culture regarding to rugby. I only aks for recognision to my heroes and sports people from my era, not from the current. Are you blind, casue it appears so. We also had leaders, you dont even know who played the last final of the SA Cup. Or who was the last captain of the SARU team, or who was the SARU 15, you dont know, and I ask for that type of recognition, when I switch on my tv and watch Boots and all, I would just like to see them to. Not always Naas, freek, Frik, Skalk, ect. We had many sports people over the years, just give us recognition, or is that to much to ask. Apartheid was their and we cannot delete it, and this type of thing is still the marks of it. We can level that. Why not, but I see you use the Apartheid as a excuse for all the wrong. We survived during that times with PRIDE, and I stil am. I got my jersey of Boland 1989/1990. Hope you and the other fools understand this now.

  • Dave passed - 2009-10-28 12:52

    At the end of da day, Daren, Back in dose days, Dave got de ball, Dave won de line-out, Dave dropped a goal, Dave kicketed de ball and Dave scored de try, SO WHY ISN'T DAVE NOT INCLUDED IN DE HOLL OF FAME?

  • Johan - 2009-10-28 13:45

    @Dave - You are making a lot of noice...! You say that we use Apartheid as an excuse for everything that is wrong? Take a look at this page and see whose name is right at the bottom? Oh is "Dave". And if I am not mistaken, it is this "Dave" who started this whole debate with the "apartheid" and "racism" cards, not having any relevance to the applicable story. Get over yourself...please!

  • Gary Miller - 2009-10-28 13:57

    @ Paddy .... your have just made our entire office laugh.... (Stop air punching , Dave ! )

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