Bertus van der Merwe
Full names: Albertus Johannes
Date of birth: 14 Jul 1929
Place of birth: Rawsonville
School: Worcester Gimnasium
Springbok no: 323
Debut test province: Boland
Date of death: 23 Nov 1971 (Age 42)

Test summary: Tests: 12 Tries: 0
First Test: 20 Aug 1955 Age:26 Hooker against Britain at Newlands, Cape Town
Last Test: 23 Jul 1960 Age:31 Hooker against New Zealand at Newlands, Cape Town
Test history:
20 Aug 195526HookerBritainWin: 25-9 Newlands, Cape TownBoland
03 Sep 195526HookerBritainLose: 6-9 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaBoland
24 Sep 195526HookerBritainWin: 22-8 Crusaders (St George's Park), Port ElizabethBoland
26 May 195626HookerAustraliaWin: 9-0 Sydney Cricket Ground, SydneyBoland
02 Jun 195626HookerAustraliaWin: 9-0 Brisbane Exhibition Ground, BrisbaneBoland
14 Jul 195627HookerNew ZealandLose: 6-10 Carisbrook, DunedinBoland
04 Aug 195627HookerNew ZealandWin: 8-3 Athletic Park, WellingtonBoland
18 Aug 195627HookerNew ZealandLose: 10-17 Lancaster Park (Jade stadium), ChristchurchBoland
01 Sep 195627HookerNew ZealandLose: 5-11 Eden Park, AucklandBoland
26 Jul 195829HookerFranceDraw: 3-3 Newlands, Cape TownBoland
30 Apr 196030HookerScotlandWin: 18-10 Boet Erasmus, Port ElizabethBoland
23 Jul 196031HookerNew ZealandLose: 3-11 Newlands, Cape TownBoland

Bertus van der Merwe : Doc Craven

Bertus was the son of Otto van der Merwe's brother, Pierre, and of course the rugby blood flowed strongly in the veins of the Van der Merwes. Knowing that, it was hardly strange that Bertus rose to fame and to the heights he did.

It must be remembered that he played in the Boland and had to travel long distances and make great sacrifices to get to his practices and his matches.

The 1956 tour to Australia and New Zealand started so badly; virtually before we got there, Basie Viviers had lost his father and Bertus had lost his son. I remember asking him whether he would like to go home and he replied: "No Doc, I don't want to let the team down. They'll understand at home."

That kind of spirit and understanding he displayed both off and on the field of play; and it was the sort of commitment that made him a legend.