Lodewyk Muller was born on 5 July 1959. Lood first played for Natal in 1989. He was not the biggest prop in the world but his technique took him to the highest level of the game. A neck injury in 1990 caused one of his biggest disappointments in rugby. He was forced to watch as Natal won its first Currie Cup at Loftus Versveld in 1990.
Against all expectations Lood made a comeback to rugby (not every day you see a prop with a neck injury play rugby again). Not only did he play for Natal again, but his form forced him to be noticed by the Bok selectors. With Natal beating Province at Newlands for the first time since their semi-final 11 -10 upset in 1950. Natal won 19-11 on a wet Newlands pitch and Lood’s scrumming ability had something to do with it.
His first big test came when Natal hosted the All Blacks at Kings Park. Natal with a star-studded team (13 of the team had worn or would wear Springbok colours) took to the field as favorites. Nobody would appreciate that this was a powerful All Black line up. By the end of the match Natal’s inexperience at international level was cruelly exposed. The All Blacks eventually running away with the game 43-25.
Lood had obviously done enough. He was to represent his country for the 1st time against the All Blacks at Ellis Park. The scoreline seems to suggest that it was a close affair but in reality with only 10 minutes to go the Kiwis led 24-3 and with the game already won and the altitude taking its toll the Kiwis let in three tries to give the Springboks a respectable 27-24 loss.
Lood was once again chosen to play against the reigning world champions Australia at Newlands the following Saturday. It was naive of the powers that be and maybe a little arrogant to think that the Springboks could play the two top teams in world rugby on consecutive weekends (this after the years of isolation) so on a wet and windy Newlands South Africa suffered a record 3-26 defeat. It was evident after the game that South Africa had definitely lagged behind the rest of the world during isolation.
Sadly these would be Lood’s only test caps, but he went on to play a total of 90 games for Natal. During this time he was in the Currie Cup winning team of 1992 with Natal beating Transvaal at Ellis Park. Lood was again in the Natal side for the 1993 final against Transvaal, but this time at Kings Park, Natal lost 21-15. Although Natal had lost the final, the side had set a string of records:
1. SA record for number of wins in a season – 23
2. SA record for most points in a season – 1100
3. SA record for the most tries in a season – 148
4. Most tries in a Currie Cup – 42
5. Most points by a Natal side - 91 (against W Tvl)
6. Most tries in a match - 15 (against W Tvl)
Load played his last game for Natal in 1994 and at 90 games he is the third most capped Natal prop forward after Adrian Garvey's 109 (he replaced Lood in the Natal side) and fellow club player Mort Mortassagne’s 150 caps.