Haas Schoeman, a great Springbok of the Sixties, died suddenly in Cape Town on New Year's day. He was 65.
One day Butch Lochner, a Springbok flank of the Fifties, came to Danie Craven and said to him: "Next year we are getting a Springbok."
At that stage, Haas Schoeman, who had been at Paarl Boys' High as a schoolboy, was studying at Grootfontein Agricultural College where he was in his second year of a diploma course in agriculture.
In 1959 he came to Stellenbosch which he eventually left in 1964 with a BA LLB to join a law firm. (Later he obtained an MBA) He walked into the Under-19A and then battled at first team level against the likes of Lochner, Dawie Ackermann, James Starke and Ronnie Melck. He was in and out of the first team. He was remarkably strong and a fetcher in the Jan Boland Coetzee mould.
He became a regular in the first team, played for Southern Universities and from 1962 to 1965 for Western Province. He became a Springbok in 1963 when he was chosen for the third test against the Wallabies. In 1965 he toured Ireland and Scotland with Avril Malan's side and then Australia and New Zealand with Dawie de Villiers's side - both disastrous tours for the Springboks. In all he played in seven tests.
In 1965 he joined Bellville club and then went to Johannesburg where he played first for Wanderers and then for Diggers. He did not play for Transvaal.
Schoeman worked for the firm of chartered accountants Spies Gurland in Cape Town. He and his wife took a great interest in the environment and travelled much of the country. They were members of the Geological Society and the Archeological Society, amongst others.
Johan Schoeman was born in Prince Albert on 15 March 1940, He died of a blood clot at his home in Table View on the morning of New Year's day, survived by his second wife Ria (née Maria Otto) of 23 years, his three daughters by his first wife Jaceliz - Leaan Schoeman, who is a doctor at Groote Schuur Hospital, Jaceliz Schoeman and Theresa Schoeman, a physiotherapist, and his sister Marie Engelbrecht, who was ten years older than he was and who died less than a week after him.
The dominee who took the funeral service was Bertus van der Westhuizen, the brother of the Springbok wing Cabous van der Westhuizen.