Piston van Wyk
Full names: Jacobus Frederick Beatrix
Date of birth: 21 Dec 1943
Place of birth: Vereeniging
School: John Orr
Springbok no: 445
Debut test province: Northern Transvaal
Physical: 1.77m, 86.2kg
Current age: 79

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
Test history:
25 Jul 197026HookerNew ZealandWin: 17-6 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaN-Tvl
08 Aug 197026HookerNew ZealandLose: 8-9 Newlands, Cape TownN-Tvl
29 Aug 197026HookerNew ZealandWin: 14-3 Boet Erasmus, Port ElizabethN-Tvl
12 Sep 197026HookerNew ZealandWin: 20-17 Ellispark, JohannesburgN-Tvl
12 Jun 197127HookerFranceWin: 22-9 Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinN-Tvl
19 Jun 197127HookerFranceDraw: 8-8 Kingspark, DurbanN-Tvl
17 Jul 197127HookerAustraliaWin: 19-11 Sydney Cricket Ground, SydneyN-Tvl
31 Jul 197127HookerAustraliaWin: 14-6 Brisbane Exhibition Ground, BrisbaneN-Tvl
07 Aug 197127HookerAustraliaWin: 18-6 Sydney Cricket Ground, SydneyN-Tvl
03 Jun 197228HookerEnglandLose: 9-18 Ellispark, JohannesburgN-Tvl
08 Jun 197430HookerBritainLose: 3-12 Newlands, Cape TownN-Tvl
13 Jul 197430HookerBritainLose: 9-26 Boet Erasmus, Port ElizabethN-Tvl
27 Jul 197430HookerBritainDraw: 13-13 Ellispark, JohannesburgN-Tvl
04 Sep 197632HookerNew ZealandWin: 15-10 Newlands, Cape TownNatal
18 Sep 197632HookerNew ZealandWin: 15-14 Ellispark, JohannesburgNatal

Piston van Wyk : Doc Craven

A brilliant hooker - wonderfully versatile and very aggressive.

We were playing against France in 1971; I had heard through the grape-vine that the referee had had a belly-full of Piston. He was apparently planning to send him off the field the next time an incident occurred.

The players were very concerned about this as we did not have a replacement hooker. My advice was that should they notice that Piston was about to lose his rag and retaliate, they should all cluster around him and look as if they were all about to join in.

That is why there were so many flare-ups during those tests. It always looked worse than it actually was and were mostly designed to protect Piston from himself - and the referee.

As I've said, a versatile player, and Piston probably epitomised the modern idiom: "When the going gets tough, the tough get going".