Adrian Garvey
Full names: Adrian Christopher
Date of birth: 25 Jun 1968
Place of birth: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
School: Plumtree
Springbok no: 645
Debut test province: Sharks
Physical: 1.9m, 116.1kg
Current age: 55

Test summary: Tests: 28 Tries: 4
First Test: 9 Nov 1996 Age:28 Tight-head Prop against Argentina at Ferrocarril-Oeste Stadium, Buenos Aires
Last Test: 10 Oct 1999 Age:31 Tight-head Prop against Spain at Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Test history:
09 Nov 199628Tight-head PropArgentinaWin: 46-15 Ferrocarril-Oeste Stadium, Buenos AiresSharks
16 Nov 199628Tight-head PropArgentinaWin: 44-21 Ferrocarril-Oeste Stadium, Buenos AiresSharks
30 Nov 199628Tight-head PropFranceWin: 22-12 Stade Municipal, BordeauxSharks
07 Dec 199628Tight-head PropFranceWin: 13-12 Parc des Princes, ParisSharks
15 Dec 199628Tight-head PropWalesWin: 37-20 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffSharks
10 Jun 199728Tight-head PropTongaWin: 74-102 triesNewlands, Cape TownSharks
21 Jun 199728Tight-head PropBritainLose: 16-25 Newlands, Cape TownSharks
28 Jun 199729Tight-head PropBritainLose: 15-18 Kingspark, DurbanSharks
05 Jul 199729ReserveBritainWin: 35-16 Ellispark, JohannesburgSharks
02 Aug 199729ReserveAustraliaLose: 20-32 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneSharks
08 Nov 199729Tight-head PropItalyWin: 62-31 Dall'Ara Stadium, BolognaSharks
15 Nov 199729Tight-head PropFranceWin: 36-32 Stade de Gerland, LyonSharks
22 Nov 199729Tight-head PropFranceWin: 52-10 Parc des Princes, ParisSharks
29 Nov 199729Tight-head PropEnglandWin: 29-111 tryTwickenham, LondonSharks
06 Dec 199729Tight-head PropScotlandWin: 68-10 Murrayfield, EdinburghSharks
13 Jun 199829Tight-head PropIrelandWin: 37-13 Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSharks
20 Jun 199829Tight-head PropIrelandWin: 33-0 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
27 Jun 199830Tight-head PropWalesWin: 96-13 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
04 Jul 199830Tight-head PropEnglandWin: 18-0 Newlands, Cape TownSharks
18 Jul 199830Tight-head PropAustraliaWin: 14-13 Subiaco Oval, PerthSharks
25 Jul 199830Tight-head PropNew ZealandWin: 13-3 Athletic Park, WellingtonSharks
15 Aug 199830Tight-head PropNew ZealandWin: 24-23 Kingspark, DurbanSharks
22 Aug 199830Tight-head PropAustraliaWin: 29-151 tryEllispark, JohannesburgSharks
14 Nov 199830Tight-head PropWalesWin: 28-20 Wembley, LondonSharks
21 Nov 199830Tight-head PropScotlandWin: 35-10 Murrayfield, EdinburghSharks
28 Nov 199830Tight-head PropIrelandWin: 27-13 Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), DublinSharks
05 Dec 199830Tight-head PropEnglandLose: 7-13 Twickenham, LondonSharks
10 Oct 199931Tight-head PropSpainWin: 47-3 Murrayfield, EdinburghSharks

Biography 1996-99 : Malcolm Finch

At his peak, one of the world's best tight-head props, Adrian Garvey won his first cap for Zimbabwe (his country of birth) in the 1991 World Cup. Nicknamed "Turbo Prop", Garvey was the archetypal modern forward, combining deft handling skills and pace with ferocious scrummaging. His incredible speed for a tight forward is evidenced by the fact he played sevens rugby for Zimbabwe at the Sicily and Lisbon Sevens tournaments in 1993.

Later that same year he went to live in South Africa and won selection for the South African Barbarians tour of the United Kingdom. He debuted for Natal in 1994 and played for them until 1999, accruing an impressive 109 caps for the province. He played in two Currie Cup finals (winning in 1995 and 1996); and in the losing Super 10 (1994) and Super 12 (1996) finals (playing for the Sharks).

Several quality performances for Natal in his debut season caught the eye of the national selectors who had rarely before seen a tight forward so dominate games with a combination of size, strength and speed. After serving out a qualification period, Adrian was selected for the Springboks on their 1996 tour to Argentina, France and Wales. He won his first Springbok cap on 9th November 1996, aged 28, at tight-head prop against Argentina in Buenos Aires, and soon established himself as a key member of the Springbok front row.

Garvey's finest performance is often regarded to be during South Africa's 1997 victory over England at Twickenham, where his try in the 40th minute was the turning point of the match. Garvey decisively won his personal duel with England hero Jason Leonard in the front row, giving the England prop a horrendously torrid time in the scrum; as well as being a constant threat to the English defence at the fringes of rucks and mauls. Adrian was also a key member of the Springbok team that won the 1998 Tri-Nations and enjoyed a run of 17 victories in succession, equalling the world record. During that record-breaking run the Springboks defeated Australia, New Zealand, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Italy.

Other career highlights were his two tries for the world famous Barbarians invitational team in 2001 against Wales at the Millennium Stadium; and a try for the Barbarians against England a week later. Garvey played his final match for the Springboks against Spain at Murrayfield during the 1999 Rugby World Cup. In his career he won 25 caps for Zimbabwe (1991-1994) scoring 4 tries; and played 28 tests for South Africa (1996-1999), scoring 4 tries with an impressive win record of 86%.

Garvey joined Newport Rugby Club in Wales, scoring a try on his debut in August 2000 against Bristol, and became an iconic figure for the Black and Ambers, memorably scoring a try in the Principality Cup Final win against Neath at the Millennium Stadium in May 2001 (Newport's first Cup final triumph for 24 years). He retired from rugby in 2004. Throughout his career Adrian Garvey was a credit to the teams he represented; an awesome player, who played hard but was always humble and courteous off the field, despite all his fantastic achievements.

- Malcolm Finch