Johan Claassen
Full names: Johannes Theodorus
Date of birth: 23 Sep 1929
Place of birth: Prince Albert
School: Christiana
Springbok no: 319
Debut test province: Western Transvaal
Physical: 1.9m, 102kg
Date of death: 6 Jan 2019 (Age 89)

Test summary: Tests: 28 Tries: 2
First Test: 6 Aug 1955 Age:25 Lock against Britain at Ellispark, Johannesburg
Last Test: 25 Aug 1962 Age:32 Lock against Britain at Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Test history:
06 Aug 195525LockBritainLose: 22-23 Ellispark, JohannesburgW-Tvl
20 Aug 195525LockBritainWin: 25-9 Newlands, Cape TownW-Tvl
03 Sep 195525LockBritainLose: 6-9 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaW-Tvl
24 Sep 195526LockBritainWin: 22-8 Crusaders (St George's Park), Port ElizabethW-Tvl
26 May 195626LockAustraliaWin: 9-0 Sydney Cricket Ground, SydneyW-Tvl
02 Jun 195626LockAustraliaWin: 9-0 Brisbane Exhibition Ground, BrisbaneW-Tvl
14 Jul 195626LockNew ZealandLose: 6-10 Carisbrook, DunedinW-Tvl
04 Aug 195626LockNew ZealandWin: 8-3 Athletic Park, WellingtonW-Tvl
18 Aug 195626LockNew ZealandLose: 10-17 Lancaster Park (Jade stadium), ChristchurchW-Tvl
01 Sep 195626LockNew ZealandLose: 5-11 Eden Park, AucklandW-Tvl
26 Jul 195828Lock (C)FranceDraw: 3-3 Newlands, Cape TownW-Tvl
16 Aug 195828Lock (C)FranceLose: 5-9 Ellispark, JohannesburgW-Tvl
30 Apr 196030LockScotlandWin: 18-10 Boet Erasmus, Port ElizabethW-Tvl
25 Jun 196030LockNew ZealandWin: 13-0 Ellispark, JohannesburgW-Tvl
23 Jul 196030LockNew ZealandLose: 3-11 Newlands, Cape TownW-Tvl
13 Aug 196030LockNew ZealandDraw: 11-11 Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinW-Tvl
03 Dec 196031LockWalesWin: 3-0 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffW-Tvl
17 Dec 196031LockIrelandWin: 8-3 Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), DublinW-Tvl
07 Jan 196131LockEnglandWin: 5-0 Twickenham, LondonW-Tvl
21 Jan 196131LockScotlandWin: 12-51 tryMurrayfield, EdinburghW-Tvl
18 Feb 196131LockFranceDraw: 0-0 Stade Olympique, Colombes, ParisW-Tvl
13 May 196131Lock (C)IrelandWin: 24-8 Newlands, Cape TownW-Tvl
05 Aug 196131Lock (C)AustraliaWin: 28-32 conversionsEllispark, JohannesburgW-Tvl
12 Aug 196131Lock (C)AustraliaWin: 23-11 Boet Erasmus, Port ElizabethW-Tvl
23 Jun 196232Lock (C)BritainDraw: 3-3 Ellispark, JohannesburgW-Tvl
21 Jul 196232Lock (C)BritainWin: 3-0 Kingspark, DurbanW-Tvl
04 Aug 196232Lock (C)BritainWin: 8-3 Newlands, Cape TownW-Tvl
25 Aug 196232Lock (C)BritainWin: 34-141 tryFree State Stadium, BloemfonteinW-Tvl

Johan Claassen : Doc Craven

Here is a solid man, if ever there was one. I got to know him in 1955 when the S.A. Rugby Board did a very wise thing by selecting promising players as junior Springboks and sending them on two tours, one to Rhodesia and the other to tour the provinces of South Africa. Johan went on the first (Rhodesian) tour and earned his spurs there. I managed that particular tour and Basil Kenyon the other.

Johan performed so brilliantly that within weeks of our return he was selected to play for South Africa against the touring 1955 Lions. Indeed he played in all four test matches in 1955 and went on to play 28 times for South Africa and to lead his country nine times.

A strong character - if he says yes it's yes. A person to rely on, a trustworthy man. As a player his line-out work was second to none, a great scrummager and always up with the ball.

During the 1956 tour of Australia and New Zealand his nose was broken and he played with a nose-guard in all the tests. He must have gone through agony but play he did and exceptionally well at that.

He captained South Africa, became a South African selector, and later chairman of the selection committee. As such he has a very wide experience of rugby matters and he is now ploughing this back into the Western Transvaal side.