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.