Richard Bands
Full names: Richard Edward
Date of birth: 25 Mar 1974
Place of birth: Mafikeng
School: Lichtenburg
Springbok no: 745
Debut test province: Blue Bulls
Physical: 1.82m, 115kg
Current age: 47

Test summary: Tests: 11 Tries: 2
First Test: 7 Jun 2003 Age:29 Tight-head Prop against Scotland at Kingspark, Durban
Last Test: 8 Nov 2003 Age:29 Reserve against New Zealand at Colonial Stadium (Telstra Dome), Melbourne
Test history:
07 Jun 200329Tight-head PropScotlandWin: 29-25 Kingspark, DurbanBlue Bulls
14 Jun 200329Tight-head PropScotlandWin: 28-19 Ellispark, JohannesburgBlue Bulls
28 Jun 200329ReserveArgentinaWin: 26-25 Boet Erasmus, Port ElizabethBlue Bulls
12 Jul 200329Tight-head PropAustraliaWin: 26-22 Newlands, Cape TownBlue Bulls
19 Jul 200329Tight-head PropNew ZealandLose: 16-52 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaBlue Bulls
02 Aug 200329Tight-head PropAustraliaLose: 9-29 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneBlue Bulls
09 Aug 200329Tight-head PropNew ZealandLose: 11-191 tryCarisbrook, DunedinBlue Bulls
11 Oct 200329Tight-head PropUruguayWin: 72-61 trySubiaco Oval, PerthBlue Bulls
18 Oct 200329Tight-head PropEnglandLose: 6-25 Subiaco Oval, PerthBlue Bulls
01 Nov 200329ReserveSamoaWin: 60-10 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneBlue Bulls
08 Nov 200329ReserveNew ZealandLose: 9-29 Colonial Stadium (Telstra Dome), MelbourneBlue Bulls

Richard Bands :

Richard has emerged as something of a dark horse in South African rugby in 2003, having risen to the top of the game after taking a "sabbatical" in his mid-20s to return to farming.

He made his first class debut for the Stellaland province in 1994, but played only one first class game for them before giving up the game to spend most of the second half of the 1990s on his father's farm in Lichtenburg.

He decided to give rugby one more go before he was too old and, in 2001, he made his second first-class appearance at the age of 27, seven years after his first.

He had spent a fruitless season at Free State in 1999 but was lured to the Blue Bulls by coach Heyneke Meyer and has risen steadily to establish himself as the cornerstone of the Blue Bulls' scrum in both the Absa Currie Cup and the Vodacom Super 12.

He started as a hooker and was a replacement in that position for the Blue Bulls second team that won the SA Cup in 2000, but really began to advance when he was switched to prop by Meyer in 2002. Richard confirmed his emergence as a part of the 2002 Blue Bulls team that won the Currie Cup, having started each of their 12 matches in the 2002 tournament.

In 2003 he has been a regular at tighthead as the Bulls enjoyed their best Super 12 since their establishment as a regional team in 1998.