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Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Rugby Personalities: Happy Birthday

Rugga World sends best wishes to another two stalwarts of the Springbok game - Piston van Wyk, who turned 62 today and Gysie Pienaar, who turned 51. Piston was a genuine hard man of South African rugby who represented the Boks in 15 Tests at hooker whilst Gysie remains many Springbok fans first choice fullback in a 'Legends XV'.

Piston van Wyk
Full names: Jacobus Frederick Beatrix
Date of birth: 21 Dec 1943
Place of birth: Vereeniging, South Africa
School: John Orr, Johannesburg
Initial province: Northern Transvaal

Current age: 62

Test summary: Tests: 15 Tries: 0
First Test: 25 Jul 1970 Age:26 Hooker against New Zealand at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Last Test: 18 Sep 1976 Age:32 Hooker against New Zealand at Ellispark, Johannesburg

Gysie Pienaar
Full names: Zacharias Matheus Johannes
Date of birth: 21 Dec 1954
Place of birth: Bloemfontein, South Africa
School: Dr Viljoen, Bloemfontein
Initial province: Orange Free State
Physical: 1.78m, 80kg
Current age: 51

Test summary: Tests: 13 Tries: 2
First Test: 3 May 1980 Age:25 Reserve against South America at Kingspark, Durban
Last Test: 12 Sep 1981 Age:26 Full Back against New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland

Two greats.
What I remember best of Piston was the way he roundhoused the Lion's hooker in the Newlands test in '74
at a line-out - the kind of thing that will now get you banned for half the season or more ;-)
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