In the eighties the Transvaal Rugby Union could unoffiacially be called TransWahl for the huge influence the former Springbok flank Wahl Bartmann had in the Union’s success. They won the Lion Cup twice in 1986 and ’87 and played in two Currie Cup finals during the same seasons.
But what very few people know is that he is one of very few players that have beaten the Springboks and the All Blacks in the famous Red and White jersey. Wahl was a member of the Transvaal side of ’86 that beat the New Zealand Cavaliers (the unofficial All Black side) a week after he donned the World XV colours against his beloved Transvaal at Ellis Park.
A year later he captained the Transvaal team to a grand victory against a touring Springbok outfit that included his long standing team-mate Jannie Breedt. The Bartmann-Breedt combination played together in 52 matches for Transvaal and he often bamboozled the opposition with his own version of their two man driving maul where he more often than not broke away to score. Wahl also shared the pitch with his elder brother Leon and the graced the Transvaal jersey in 17 games together.
1986 was indeed a special year for Bartmann who gained Springbok colours against the touring Cavaliers when Burger Geldenhuys was suspended after a cowardly act of foul play against the Cavaliers captain Andy Dalton.
He was also a member of the Springbok sides that played when South Africa was readmitted to international rugby and played against both the official All Blacks at Ellis Park and the Wallabies at Newlands.
Bartmann went on to win the Currie Cup with Natal, but he is a born and bred Gautenger. He is one of only a handful of players that wore the Transvaal colours at Primary School, High School, Under 21 and Senior levels.
He made his senior debut for a Transvaal XV against a Five Nations XV at the Park only six months out of school against a formidable opponent such as the Irish legend Fergus Slattery in a game which Transvaal won 33-22.
Wahl Bartmann CV:
Transvaal (1982-89): 93 games, 18 tries
Natal: 79 games, 21 tries
South Africa: 8 tests
Springboks: 7 Tour games, 1 try
World XV: 1 game, 1 try
SA B side: 5 games
Rest of SA: 2 games
Transvaal Unions: 2 games, 1 try
Springbok trials: 2 games
Transvaal XV: 2 games
Northern Universities: 1 game
South: 1 game
North: 1 game
SA Defence: 2 games, 1 try
Other: 13 games, 4 tries