Pierre de Villiers
Full names: Pierre du Plessis
Date of birth: 14 Jun 1905
Place of birth: Worcester
School: Paarl Gimnasium
Springbok no: 195
Debut test province: Western Province
Physical: 1.75m, 61.2kg
Date of death: 14 Nov 1975 (Age 70)

Test summary: Tests: 8 Tries: 0
First Test: 30 Jun 1928 Age:23 Scrumhalf against New Zealand at Kingsmead, Durban
Last Test: 14 Aug 1937 Age:32 Scrumhalf against New Zealand at Athletic Park, Wellington
Test history:
30 Jun 192823ScrumhalfNew ZealandWin: 17-0 Kingsmead, DurbanWP
18 Aug 192823ScrumhalfNew ZealandWin: 11-6 Crusaders (St George's Park), Port ElizabethWP
01 Sep 192823ScrumhalfNew ZealandLose: 5-13 Newlands, Cape TownWP
02 Jan 193226ScrumhalfEnglandWin: 7-0 Twickenham, LondonWP
26 Aug 193328ScrumhalfAustraliaWin: 11-0 Crusaders (St George's Park), Port ElizabethWP
26 Jun 193732ScrumhalfAustraliaWin: 9-5 Sydney Cricket Ground, SydneyWP
17 Jul 193732ScrumhalfAustraliaWin: 26-17 Sydney Cricket Ground, SydneyWP
14 Aug 193732ScrumhalfNew ZealandLose: 7-13 Athletic Park, WellingtonWP

Pierie de Villiers : Doc Craven

God's own gentleman.

Even as a student and young untried player, I had heard so much about the will-o'-the-wisp 1928 Springbok scrumhalf. I was in my second year at Stellenbosch, having played for the under-19 team the previous year when I finally played against Paarl where Pierre was the hero - the king.

Mr Markotter came to me beforehand and said, "What are you going to do about Pierre?"

"Its not my problem Mr Mark, the two flanks will look after him" I replied in my innocence.

"They can't, he's too agile for them." And Mr Mark ordered: "Remember that when he goes outside he'll sell the dummy and cut back inside again. When this happens come around the scrum, just wait and he will come right into your arms."

This was exactly what happened. He beat the flank forward hands down only to run into me.

Later that particular day he was dribbling the ball and I fell on it. Pierre kicked at the ball, fell over me and dislocated his elbow.

In my ignorance I put his elbow back in place; it was a most dangerous thing to do and should only be done by a doctor. However some of the Paarl fellows thought I had deliberately injured Pierre and I felt terrible about it.

Thereafter we became the greatest of friends and when we were on tour together we would regularly compare notes on strategy. I can only describe Pierre as a great gentleman and a man who gave South Africa wonderful service in his eight tests.