Avril Malan
Full names: Avril Stefan
Date of birth: 9 Apr 1937
Place of birth: Pretoria
School: Wonderboom
Springbok no: 361
Debut test province: Transvaal
Physical: 1.85m, 95.3kg
Current age: 87

Test summary: Tests: 16 Tries: 0
First Test: 25 Jun 1960 Age:23 Lock against New Zealand at Ellispark, Johannesburg
Last Test: 17 Apr 1965 Age:28 Lock against Scotland at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Test history:
25 Jun 196023LockNew ZealandWin: 13-0 Ellispark, JohannesburgTvl
23 Jul 196023LockNew ZealandLose: 3-11 Newlands, Cape TownTvl
13 Aug 196023Lock (C)New ZealandDraw: 11-11 Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinTvl
27 Aug 196023Lock (C)New ZealandWin: 8-3 Boet Erasmus, Port ElizabethTvl
03 Dec 196023Lock (C)WalesWin: 3-0 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffTvl
17 Dec 196023Lock (C)IrelandWin: 8-3 Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), DublinTvl
07 Jan 196123Lock (C)EnglandWin: 5-0 Twickenham, LondonTvl
21 Jan 196123Lock (C)ScotlandWin: 12-5 Murrayfield, EdinburghTvl
18 Feb 196123Lock (C)FranceDraw: 0-0 Stade Olympique, Colombes, ParisTvl
23 Jun 196225LockBritainDraw: 3-3 Ellispark, JohannesburgTvl
13 Jul 196326LockAustraliaWin: 14-3 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaTvl
10 Aug 196326LockAustraliaLose: 5-9 Newlands, Cape TownTvl
24 Aug 196326Lock (C)AustraliaLose: 9-11 Ellispark, JohannesburgTvl
23 May 196427LockWalesWin: 24-3 Kingspark, DurbanTvl
10 Apr 196528Lock (C)IrelandLose: 6-9 Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), DublinTvl
17 Apr 196528Lock (C)ScotlandLose: 5-8 Murrayfield, EdinburghTvl

Avril Malan : Doc Craven

When I was stationed in Pretoria during the war years I became very friendly with Avril's parents. His father was a professor at Onderstepoort. I went to their home in Wonderboom one day and saw the two children, a boy and a girl, playing in the chicken run and becoming rather smelly in the process.

Their mother was very apologetic and I said: "Mrs Malan, that's not naughtiness, that's how children should be - let them act naturally."

Later Avril came to Stellenbosch and I saw him playing for the second team. He broke through a line-out and kicked the ball away. I called him over and said: "You must come from the backwoods, because there they kick the ball away. Here we don't - we run with it. Remember, when you break through, you've got all the forwards with you. There's no need to kick away possession."

He became a wonderful player and a wonderful leader, born and bred for the task. I often felt that others got the credit due to him because he could play anyone into a team.

He had great pushing strength in the scrums and his ability in the line-outs was exceptional. No-one could collect a ball quite like Avril.

I think he suffered on that demo-stricken tour in 1969/70 when he was the coach. He felt bitter that we couldn't play our natural game under those circumstances.

Incidentally Avril was the first coach to have the hooker throw the ball in at the line-outs. He was much criticised at the time - even I criticised him - but it's become the commonplace thing nowadays. He certainly knew what he was doing.