Sommie Morkel
Full names: William Somerset
Date of birth: 26 Sep 1879
Place of birth: Kimberley
School: Marist Brothers Linmeyer
Springbok no: 105
Debut test province: Transvaal
Physical: 1.8m, 79.4kg
Date of death: 11 Jul 1921 (Age 41)

Test summary: Tests: 4 Tries: 0
First Test: 17 Nov 1906 Age:27 Forward against Scotland at Hampden Park, Glasgow
Last Test: 8 Dec 1906 Age:27 Forward against England at Crystal Palace, London
Test history:
17 Nov 190627ForwardScotlandLose: 0-6 Hampden Park, GlasgowTvl
24 Nov 190627ForwardIrelandWin: 15-12 Ravenhill Grounds, BelfastTvl
01 Dec 190627ForwardWalesWin: 11-0 St. Helens, SwanseaTvl
08 Dec 190627ForwardEnglandDraw: 3-3 Crystal Palace, LondonTvl

W S MORKEL - 1906 SPRINGBOKS : EJL Plateneur

WILLIAM SOMERSET MORKEL (Mines RFC and Transvaal) was born in Kimberley in 1880. He stands 5 feet 11 inches in height, and weighs 12 stone 7 pounds. He is one of the best forwards in the pack, and one of the best all-round men in the team. As a forward he is one of the hardest workers in the scrums in South Africa. Possessed of great physical strength, he shoves every ounce of his weight, and is a genuinely great forward. Always in the front or second row, he never dreams of shirking his share of work; in fact, he would think nothing of making up for a colleague's deficiencies in that respect. in the open and in the loose he is a fair terror, for he is one of the fastest forwards in South Africa, and if he lays a hand on a man he goes down; and he always goes hard and low for an opponent. There is no tackling about the eyebrows for Sommy. In the open he is not unlike what the great English forward Frank Evershed was, for he runs, passes, and kicks like a three-quarter, and he is never at a loss what to do. He started to play Rugby in 1896, and played for the Third Wanderers. In the following year he played for the Villagers; but in 1898 he joined the Pirates, and at once gained a place in the forward ranks of their first team; and strong as the Transvaal was in that year he was considered for representative honours. In 1899 he was one of the best forwards in the Pirates, and was noted then for his dash, pace, and strong tackling. In 1900 he organised a team at St. Helena, and played both forward and three-quarter. On his return here he turned out for the Villagers, the club in which his brothers were playing, and was the best forward, probably the best player in the team. In 1903 he was selected to play for Johannesburg against the English team, and was the best forward on the local side. He ought to have been selected for the Transvaal, but was only on the reserve. In 1904, however, he got his chance, and went down to East London with the Transvaal. There he played a great game; in fact, so well did he perform against the Western Province, that B. H. Heatlie, one of the best judges in South Africa pronounced him the second best forward in the Transvaal. In 1905 he joined the Mines, and that year, as well as this year, he has been the best forward in the pack and the most useful man in the team. He was again selected to play for the Transvaal in 1906, and played such a game that his South African cap was a certainty. He is a most versatile player, for he can play anywhere on the field, half, three-quarter, or full-back. There are many who aver that, had he not been a forward, he would have been the finest three-quarter in the Transvaal . In the tour he has not only proved himself a worthy supporter of his captain in the vanguard, but he has frequently done great service in the third line, besides playing full-back when Burmeister and Marsberg were hurt, He is a fine all round-athlete, being a fine jumper and runner and his brother Harry, the old South African champion, said that another champion hurdler was lost in WS Morkel.