Jaap Bekker
Full names: Hendrik Petrus Jordaan
Date of birth: 11 Feb 1925
Place of birth: Dordrecht
School: Dordrecht
Springbok no: 298
Debut test province: Northern Transvaal
Physical: 1.83m, 102.97kg
Date of death: 6 Aug 1999 (Age 74)

Test summary: Tests: 15 Tries: 1
First Test: 5 Jan 1952 Age:26 Tight-head Prop against England at Twickenham, London
Last Test: 1 Sep 1956 Age:31 Tight-head Prop against New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland
Test history:
05 Jan 195226Tight-head PropEnglandWin: 8-3 Twickenham, LondonN-Tvl
16 Feb 195227Tight-head PropFranceWin: 25-3 Stade Olympique, Colombes, ParisN-Tvl
22 Aug 195328Tight-head PropAustraliaWin: 25-3 Ellispark, JohannesburgN-Tvl
05 Sep 195328Tight-head PropAustraliaLose: 14-18 Newlands, Cape TownN-Tvl
19 Sep 195328Tight-head PropAustraliaWin: 18-81 tryKingsmead, DurbanN-Tvl
26 Sep 195328Tight-head PropAustraliaWin: 22-9 Crusaders (St George's Park), Port ElizabethN-Tvl
20 Aug 195530Tight-head PropBritainWin: 25-9 Newlands, Cape TownN-Tvl
03 Sep 195530Tight-head PropBritainLose: 6-9 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaN-Tvl
24 Sep 195530Tight-head PropBritainWin: 22-8 Crusaders (St George's Park), Port ElizabethN-Tvl
26 May 195631Tight-head PropAustraliaWin: 9-0 Sydney Cricket Ground, SydneyN-Tvl
02 Jun 195631Tight-head PropAustraliaWin: 9-0 Brisbane Exhibition Ground, BrisbaneN-Tvl
14 Jul 195631Tight-head PropNew ZealandLose: 6-10 Carisbrook, DunedinN-Tvl
04 Aug 195631Tight-head PropNew ZealandWin: 8-3 Athletic Park, WellingtonN-Tvl
18 Aug 195631Tight-head PropNew ZealandLose: 10-17 Lancaster Park (Jade stadium), ChristchurchN-Tvl
01 Sep 195631Tight-head PropNew ZealandLose: 5-11 Eden Park, AucklandN-Tvl

Jaap Bekker : Doc Craven

Jaap the strong - the man of iron.

A kind and gentle person but don't challenge him.

During the 1951/52 tour I was introduced to an English player who insisted that the Wallabies who had toured the U.K. the previous season were better than Kenyon's Springboks.

I said: "On what grounds do you say that?"

"I know, because I played against them" he replied.

I asked him whether he would be playing against the Springboks the next day and it turned out that he would be at loosehead against Jaap Bekker.

Back in the hotel I told Jaap about the big mouth he would be playing against, and rather mischievously on my part, I asked him to show this fellow the stuff a Springbok frontranker is made of.

Jaap replied: "Ons sal maar sien, Dokkie." ("Let's wait and see, Doc.")

During the game I became increasingly sorry for that poor chap. He eventually took so much punishment that he changed over to the tighthead position, but Jaap followed him. More than once he was still on the ground after the scrum had broken up and the ball was in the hands of the wing.

I had asked him to look me up after the match but at the cocktail party afterwards he avoided me. Eventually I cornered him.

"I don't want to talk to you now", he said. "I opened my big mouth yesterday and I'm very sorry I did. What I went through today I brought upon myself. I spoke out of turn and I apologise. You are a much better side than the Wallabies."

That was Jaap Bekker. One of the strongest Springboks of all time. I'm glad I wasn't a prop who had to play against him.