Former Springbok rugby loose-forward, Adriaan Pieter “Attie” Baard, died in Somerset West in the Western Cape on April 30th, 2009 at the age of 75 from complications from diabetes.
He was a medical doctor educated at Stellenbosch University and he played for both Western Province and Eastern Province during his career.
Baard was selected for the tour of Great Britain and France under the captaincy of Avril Malan in 1960-61 and appeared in one Test – that against Ireland – and 13 matches altogether on a long tour.
The team returned to South Africa having won all four Tests in the UK and drawing the Test against France, while losing only one game, 0-6 to the Barbarians towards the end of the tour.
A tall man, Baard was officially the reserve eighthman to Doug Hopwood and replaced him for the Ireland match after Hopwood was injured. He also played a number of games as a flank on the tour, scoring three tries.
He practiced as a doctor at various country towns in South Africa and lived in Stellenbosch and then Somerset West.
Johan Claassen, former Springbok lock and captain, who accompanied Baard on the 1960-61 tour and was a room-mates with him on occasion, said he considered Baard as a “good friend and an excellent rugby player.”
Baard is survived by his second wife, Brenda – his first wife Doris had died – and three daughters – Liesel, Jeanette and Maryna – from his first marriage.
His wife stated that Baard had been a keen supporter of rugby right up until his death.