Known as a kicking flyhalf, De Beer was brought into the Springbok starting line-up for the third Test against the British & Irish Lions on July 5, 1997 after Henry Honiball’s running game proved ineffective in the first two Tests. The tactical change paid off as De Beer kicked three penalties and two conversions to help the Springboks avoid a series whitewash with a 35-16 win.
De Beer won 13 Tests for South Africa as he spent the majority of his international career behind Honiball in the pecking order. However, when the legendary Sharks pivot sustained an injury in the 1999 World Cup, De Beer was promoted to the starting line-up for the crunch quarter-final clash against England.
It was in this match at Stade de France where De Beer kicked himself into history. De Beer famously slotted a world record five drop goals and kicked a further five penalties and two conversions for a then Springbok record personal tally of 34 points as South Africa secured a 44-21 win to advance to the semi-finals where they took on Australia.
De Beer repeated the tactic against the Wallabies but only succeeded with one of numerous drop goal attempts. Still, De Beer kept his composure and kicked a last minute penalty to level the scores and force extra time. Stephen Larkham’s long-range drop goal ultimately won the match for Australia 27-21 after De Beer had scored all of South Africa’s points. It proved to be De Beer’s last appearance in the Green and Gold.
De Beer was only 19 when he made his provincial debut for the Cheetahs. He also represented the Junior Springboks, SA Barbarians, Cats, Bulls, London Scottish and Saracens.
Records/Honours:SA Young Player of the Year nominee, 1992World record holder for most drop goals in a Test - 5