I spotted Abie together with Piet du Toit in the Stellenbosch under-19 team. Abie came from the Northwest-Bushmanland, and it was obvious from the outset that he had a wonderful fighting spirit.
While they were on tour of the UK and France in 1960/61, the Bok management asked me to send Bobby Johns over as a replacement hooker; Abie's knee was 'completely finished'. I told them that I didn't think Abie would give up his place in the team lightly, that he would play even if he had to put splints on his leg to keep his knee in place.
That is exactly what happened and poor Bobby Johns had to pay the price of this man's grit and determination as he never did get into the side. These qualities show up in Abie today as a selector - outspoken, straight as a die, says what he wants to say, crawls to nobody.
He's made a huge success of his life and career and he's done it on his own. It's that same grit and determination which he showed on the field that has made him the success he is today.
Abie was appointed manager of the recent Nampak tour to South America. With his natural ability to communicate easily with both players and administrators he made a wonderful impression.