I saw Dawie as a schoolboy playing for Free State during Craven Week and I immediately knew he was a potential Springbok.
When he was called up to do his military service he seemed to disappear from the rugby scene for a while and I asked his brother Jackie, who was then at Stellenbosch, what had happened to Dawie. He replied that Dawie had hurt his foot. But in addition to the injury, I think he had lost interest in rugby at that point in his life.
In order to be accepted at any university, one has to obtain a certain percentage in matric. Dawie had applied to come to Stellenbosch as his mother's family and his father had all been at Dagbreek Hostel during their varsity days; however, he didn't qualify to stay in Dagbreek.
We had temporary housing for students though, and so I put two beds in one of the rooms for Dawie and another Free Stater from Kroonstad. Shortly afterwards there was a vacancy in Dagbreek and he moved in. A few years later, when the Springbok team was chosen Dawie wasn't selected as flyhalf, which was the position he preferred. At the same time I said to him: "Dawie, I don't need you as a flyhalf either (for Stellenbosch), because I've got Robbie Blair, who is also a fine placekicker, in that position."
So Dawie moved to the fullback position from where he played himself into the Springbok team.
Eventually I also told him when to stop playing as he had became prone to concussion, and although he still had a number of good rugby years in him, he listened to my advice.
A versatile player and a very determined one, who was of great value to the Springboks. A successful coach for Western Province, and a man who has rendered great service to the game.