Des Sinclair
Full names: Desmond John
Date of birth: 14 Jul 1924
Place of birth: Johannesburg
School: Jeppe
Springbok no: 292
Debut test province: Transvaal
Physical: 1.8m, 76.2kg
Date of death: 29 Apr 1996 (Age 71)

Test summary: Tests: 4 Tries: 0
First Test: 6 Aug 1955 Age:31 Inside Centre against Britain at Ellispark, Johannesburg
Last Test: 24 Sep 1955 Age:31 Inside Centre against Britain at Crusaders (St George's Park), Port Elizabeth
Test history:
DateAgePositionOpponentResultScoreVenueProv
06 Aug 195531Inside CentreBritainLose: 22-23 Ellispark, JohannesburgTvl
20 Aug 195531Inside CentreBritainWin: 25-9 Newlands, Cape TownTvl
03 Sep 195531Inside CentreBritainLose: 6-9 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaTvl
24 Sep 195531Inside CentreBritainWin: 22-8 Crusaders (St George's Park), Port ElizabethTvl

Des Sinclair by Doc Craven

Whenever I hear someone whistling I expect to see Des Sinclair. He had quickness and sharpness and, at times, great emotion. The 1951/52 Springboks went to a dance on Old Year's Eve, a very posh affair. With all the lords and ladies in attendance, there was a sudden commotion and in rushed Des and Dennis Fry dressed up as a bull and bull-fighter respectively.

Des snorted and charged and everybody made way and they had the floor to themselves for their show. How the people enjoyed it. It created a new atmosphere, far removed from the rather formal affair it had been. So much so that an elderly fellow tackled Des and, obviously feeling rather proud of himself said: "By gad, I tackled him - I tackled the bull!"

On another occasion we were spending Christmas Eve in London. To be overseas at Christmas is not much fun because it's a family affair in Great Britain and one feels a bit left out. So we decided to have a party. Now remember, the next day we had to play Combined Services at Twickenham and we knew they would probably be having greater parties than we would have. But Des and Dennis popped up again with a floor show while Frank Mellish and I were seeing off the guests.

As we got to the porch there was a large Christmas tree in the hotel. We noticed that there were a few chaps hiding in the tree and as we passed we slapped them on the backside, and, of course, who popped out? - Des and Dennis again!

On the field of play, too, Des was adventurous and full of life. During the 1955 Lions tour we should have lost the series, but thanks to good tactics and players like Des Sinclair, we managed to share the series 2-2.