Gary Teichmann
Full names: Gary Hamilton
Date of birth: 9 Jan 1967
Place of birth: Gwelo, Zimbabwe
School: Hilton College
Springbok no: 603
Debut test province: Sharks
Physical: 1.95m, 99.8kg
Current age: 57

Test summary: Tests: 42 Tries: 6
First Test: 2 Sep 1995 Age:28 Eighthman against Wales at Ellispark, Johannesburg
Last Test: 10 Jul 1999 Age:32 Eighthman against New Zealand at Carisbrook, Dunedin
Test history:
02 Sep 199528EighthmanWalesWin: 40-111 tryEllispark, JohannesburgSharks
02 Jul 199629EighthmanFijiWin: 43-18 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
13 Jul 199629EighthmanAustraliaLose: 16-21 Sydney Football Stadium (Aussie stadium), SydneySharks
20 Jul 199629EighthmanNew ZealandLose: 11-15 Lancaster Park (Jade stadium), ChristchurchSharks
03 Aug 199629EighthmanAustraliaWin: 25-19 Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSharks
10 Aug 199629EighthmanNew ZealandLose: 18-29 Newlands, Cape TownSharks
17 Aug 199629Eighthman (C)New ZealandLose: 19-23 Kingspark, DurbanSharks
24 Aug 199629Eighthman (C)New ZealandLose: 26-33 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
31 Aug 199629Eighthman (C)New ZealandWin: 32-22 Ellispark, JohannesburgSharks
09 Nov 199629Eighthman (C)ArgentinaWin: 46-15 Ferrocarril-Oeste Stadium, Buenos AiresSharks
16 Nov 199629Eighthman (C)ArgentinaWin: 44-21 Ferrocarril-Oeste Stadium, Buenos AiresSharks
30 Nov 199629Eighthman (C)FranceWin: 22-12 Stade Municipal, BordeauxSharks
07 Dec 199629Eighthman (C)FranceWin: 13-12 Parc des Princes, ParisSharks
15 Dec 199629Eighthman (C)WalesWin: 37-20 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffSharks
10 Jun 199730Eighthman (C)TongaWin: 74-10 Newlands, Cape TownSharks
21 Jun 199730Eighthman (C)BritainLose: 16-25 Newlands, Cape TownSharks
28 Jun 199730Eighthman (C)BritainLose: 15-18 Kingspark, DurbanSharks
05 Jul 199730Eighthman (C)BritainWin: 35-16 Ellispark, JohannesburgSharks
19 Jul 199730Eighthman (C)New ZealandLose: 32-35 Ellispark, JohannesburgSharks
02 Aug 199730Eighthman (C)AustraliaLose: 20-32 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneSharks
09 Aug 199730Eighthman (C)New ZealandLose: 35-551 tryEden Park, AucklandSharks
23 Aug 199730Eighthman (C)AustraliaWin: 61-22 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
08 Nov 199730Eighthman (C)ItalyWin: 62-31 Dall'Ara Stadium, BolognaSharks
15 Nov 199730Eighthman (C)FranceWin: 36-32 Stade de Gerland, LyonSharks
22 Nov 199730Eighthman (C)FranceWin: 52-101 tryParc des Princes, ParisSharks
29 Nov 199730Eighthman (C)EnglandWin: 29-11 Twickenham, LondonSharks
06 Dec 199730Eighthman (C)ScotlandWin: 68-101 tryMurrayfield, EdinburghSharks
13 Jun 199831Eighthman (C)IrelandWin: 37-13 Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSharks
20 Jun 199831Eighthman (C)IrelandWin: 33-01 tryLoftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
27 Jun 199831Eighthman (C)WalesWin: 96-13 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaSharks
04 Jul 199831Eighthman (C)EnglandWin: 18-0 Newlands, Cape TownSharks
18 Jul 199831Eighthman (C)AustraliaWin: 14-13 Subiaco Oval, PerthSharks
25 Jul 199831Eighthman (C)New ZealandWin: 13-3 Athletic Park, WellingtonSharks
15 Aug 199831Eighthman (C)New ZealandWin: 24-23 Kingspark, DurbanSharks
22 Aug 199831Eighthman (C)AustraliaWin: 29-15 Ellispark, JohannesburgSharks
14 Nov 199831Eighthman (C)WalesWin: 28-20 Wembley, LondonSharks
21 Nov 199831Eighthman (C)ScotlandWin: 35-10 Murrayfield, EdinburghSharks
28 Nov 199831Eighthman (C)IrelandWin: 27-13 Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), DublinSharks
05 Dec 199831Eighthman (C)EnglandLose: 7-13 Twickenham, LondonSharks
12 Jun 199932Eighthman (C)ItalyWin: 74-31 tryBoet Erasmus, Port ElizabethSharks
26 Jun 199932Eighthman (C)WalesLose: 19-29 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffSharks
10 Jul 199932Eighthman (C)New ZealandLose: 0-28 Carisbrook, DunedinSharks

Gary Teichman : Brad Morgan

Natal Sharks’ eighthman Gary Teichmann played 42 tests for the Springboks, leading the national team on 36 occasions and establishing a reputation as a hard-working, committed, courageous and fair player throughout the rugby world.

Teichmann's humility was one of his most impressive characteristics. He was a quiet leader, leading by example rather than by talking, but his example spoke volumes and it was obvious that this approach worked for the teams he led.

While he was captain of the national team, the Springboks won 26 of 36 matches including a world record equalling 17 tests in succession. These wins include victories over New Zealand, Australia, France, England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland away from home. They also included a first-ever Tri-Nations title for South Africa in 1998 when they swept Australia and New Zealand.

There was a record win of 61-22 over the Wallabies in 1997 and a 96-13 pasting handed out to Wales in the same year. Ireland were blanked 33-0, Scotland crushed 68-10 at Murrayfield, France thrashed 52-10 in Paris and England outscored by four tries to one in a 29-11 victory at Twickenham.

Through both wins and losses Teichmann seemed to be an almost reluctant leader; on the field he led from the front, but off the field he shied away from the public eye as much as the media in South Africa would allow him to do so. He, however, was always sincere towards both his team and the opposition and the respect given to him was also sincere because of this.

Teichmann, never a leader on the rugby field at school level, was pushed into the captaincy role at Natal by the province’s highly-respected coach Ian McIntosh. That proved to be an inspirational move for both the Sharks and for South Africa. He represented the Sharks in 144 matches in all, during a period in which the Sharks became South Africa’s team of the 1990s with four Currie Cup victories and the best results in the Super 12 of the four South African regional sides.

In 1998 he led the Sharks to the semi-finals of the Super 12, where they were beaten 36-32 by the eventual champions, the Canterbury Crusaders, in Christchurch. In 1999 the Sharks finished seventh. With Teichmann in charge the Sharks won the Currie Cup in 1992, 1995 and 1996, and finished runners-up in 1993 and 1999. In 1994, the Sharks lost to Queensland in the final of the Super 10.

When Teichmann was sacked as leader of the Springboks in July 1999, it marked the beginning of the end of his career in South African rugby. His axing was a controversial decision, but typically he refused to get involved in any slanging matches or accusations that other people were making in the media.

Instead, he responded with the inspired leadership of the Sharks to guide the Natalians to the final of the Currie Cup. He had earlier announced that he would be retiring after the match and would continue his rugby career with Newport in Wales. A capacity crowd packed the stadium, King’s Park to watch the fairytale ending to the career of one of their favourite sons. It didn’t materialise as the Lions dumped the home team 32-9 and thus ended Teichmann’s career in the black and white.

He then spent two seasons with Newport as the club became one of the powers of Welsh rugby and enjoyed some success in European competition. Once again, players, supporters and administrators had nothing but praise for their club captain. He helped the black-and-ambers to their first piece of silverware in 24 years when he led the side to a 13-8 victory over Neath in the final of the Principality Cup, his final match before retiring from the game.

A banner proclaiming “And on the eighth day, God created … Teich!” summed up the feelings that the fans had towards the gutsy eighthman.

One of Teichmann’s regrets, and that of many fans, remains that he never participated in a World Cup. He first played for the Springboks in September 1995, after the World Cup that was held in South Africa that year, and then was controversially dropped with the 1999 World Cup in sight. Former coach Nick Mallett has since admitted that with the benefit of hindsight, the dropping of Teichmann was a mistake.

Sunday Times (England) rugby writer Stephen Jones, writing about the success of the Newport club declared: “when you strike gold with the likes of Teichmann, the benefits are vast. The leadership he has shown and the example he had set has been the perfect tutorial for the young men around him.”

To this day Teichmann’s example remains one of the finest for younger and older players alike to follow. He proved that there is room for gentlemen in the game of rugby.