Mr Mark Alexander, President of SA Rugby, mourned the death of former Springbok winger Cornelius Wilhelmus (Corra) Dirksen, who passed away on Friday 10 July, aged 82.
Dirksen, a medical doctor, was still in practice in Krugersdorp and passed away after a short illness.
The former Northern Transvaal (now the Vodacom Blue Bulls) player played in 10 tests for South Africa, with his debut against the touring Australian side of 1963.
Mr Alexander extended his condolences to the Dirksen family: “Corra was well-known and loved as a medical practitioner in the West Rand and he touched the lives of many,” said Mr Alexander. “The fact that he was still active as a medical doctor was prove of his energy and zest for life. “It is always a sad day when we lose one of our former Springboks and we want to send our love, prayers and condolences to the Dirksen family, friends and his other loved ones.”
Dirksen scored three tries against France in the 1967 series, his last year of international rugby, which included two tries in the first test in Durban. He scored the opening try, coming into the line from the blindside and crashing over.
But it was Dirksen’s second effort in this test, which sealed the 26-3 win, that was regarded one of the very best for the Springboks. The ball came down the Bok backline from a lineout to reach Dirksen on the halfway line. He came infield, swerving inside three or four times before straightening and eventually scoring near the right-hand corner. This prompted French journalist Jacques Carducci to described Dirksen as “a veritable monster”.
Apart from his 10 Tests, Dirksen also represented Northern Transvaal in 35 matches between 1963 and 1968, while he completed his medical studies at the University of Pretoria.