Nelie Smith
Full names: Cornelius Michael
Date of birth: 8 May 1934
Place of birth: Bloemfontein
School: Sentraal
Springbok no: 389
Debut test province: Orange Free State
Physical: 1.75m, 77.1kg
Date of death: 2 May 2016 (Age 81)

Test summary: Tests: 7 Tries: 1
First Test: 24 Aug 1963 Age:29 Scrumhalf against Australia at Ellispark, Johannesburg
Last Test: 21 Aug 1965 Age:31 Scrumhalf against New Zealand at Carisbrook, Dunedin
Test history:
24 Aug 196329ScrumhalfAustraliaLose: 9-113 penaltiesEllispark, JohannesburgOFS
07 Sep 196329ScrumhalfAustraliaWin: 22-6 Boet Erasmus, Port ElizabethOFS
23 May 196430ScrumhalfWalesWin: 24-31 tryKingspark, DurbanOFS
25 Jul 196430Scrumhalf (C)FranceLose: 6-8 P.A.M. Brink Stadium, SpringsOFS
19 Jun 196531Scrumhalf (C)AustraliaLose: 11-18 Sydney Cricket Ground, SydneyOFS
26 Jun 196531Scrumhalf (C)AustraliaLose: 8-12 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneOFS
21 Aug 196531Scrumhalf (C)New ZealandLose: 0-13 Carisbrook, DunedinOFS

Nelie Smith : Doc Craven

If ever a man made rugby his life, that man was Nelie Smith. As a player he gave everything, but it was when he started coaching that it became more apparent that the game was his consuming interest.

When he couldn't get what he wanted in South Africa, he left for Italy where he carried on the good work. He is now back in South Africa, and I hope he will carry on where he left off before going abroad again.

Nelie enjoyed great success while coaching Orange Free State, to the extent that they won the Currie Cup in 1976, beating Western Province in the final.

I'm not sure whether any Springbok team he coached were ever beaten and in Rovigo, Italy, he experienced the same sucess as he had here. A gifted player and an even more gifted coach.