Former Springbok lock Willem Hendrik Minnaar Barnard who gained Test colours against the touring 1949 All Black team and toured the British Isles and France in 1951-52, died June 14th, 2012 at a retirement home in Upington at the age of 88.
He was born August 7th, 1923 and played for Harlequins club and Northern Transvaal when he was first selected for South Africa. He later played for Griqualand West.
South Africa were leading the 1949 series 3-0 when Barnard was introduced after the captain and lock, Felix du Plessis, was surprisingly dropped and a new captain, Border's Basil Kenyon installed.
The Springboks won 11-8 to record a clean sweep in the four-match series.
After extensive trials, Barnard was chosen for the 1951-52 tour as one of four locks, along with Ernst Dinkelmann, Jan Pickard and Gert Dannhauser. However, Salty du Rand, who was selected as a flank for the tour, was roped in to play lock in all five Tests and Barnard only played in the international against Wales in Cardiff in place of Dinkelmann.
South Africa recorded a Grand Slam, beating all the home Unions and ending the tour in fine style with a 25-3 win over France. They beat Scotland 44-0, the Test record at the time.
Barnard appeared in 13 matches on the tour and scored two tries for a total of six points.
He was at the time of his death the second-oldest living Springbok after his 1949 teammate Pieter Malan who is now 93 years of age.
There are now (as at June 15th, 2012) only two survivors of the 1951-52 tour - fullback Johnny Buchler, now 82, and centre Tjol Lategan, now 86.
- Peter Martin