Jan Ellis in many respects, was a marvel. He made his reputation in South West Africa, well away from the main centres of recognised rugby and it took a great deal of determination as well as talent to rise to the top.
Only a very gifted player could do that because you only play as well as your company allows. The company you play in tends to restrict you - and with respect, he was not playing in the best of company when he represented South West Africa.
Yet he became a Springbok and he remained a Bok for a long time. Jan also had a difficult temperament, because he was an artist, and this did not always help him.
But he gave South Africa wonderful service in his many years of test rugby, 11 years in all. It takes a great player to play at international level for so long while out of the recognised mainstream.