Benjamin Robert Duff was born on 16 October 1867 in Swellendam. He attended SACS (South African College School) in Cape Town and played provincial rugby for Western Province.
During the British Isles Tour of 1891, Ben played in all three tests against the visitors. He played fullback. Due to the team being announced from Fullback to the last forward, Ben Duff got the honour of being the first Springbok ever named. South Africa lost the test series 0-3.
Ben also played in one first class cricket match for Western Province. He batted at no. 10 in both innings. He scored 1 & 8. Test cricketer, Gus Kempis took his wicket in the first innings. The wicketkeeper for WP in that game was Alf Richards. Richards also played against the British Isles for South Africa in 1891. He is one of two players that captained both a South African Rugby and Cricket team.
Duff’s brother Colin played cricket for Rhodesia.
Ben Duff died on 25 June 1943, aged 75.