Wanderers had some top-quality centres
15 September 2012 | SPORTS STAFF
Wanderers sure have had some exciting centres over the years. As part of their 125-year celebrations the Wanderers will reveal a club XV of all-time at a black tie dinner at the club on Thursday, October 4.
Every second week in the lead-up to the dinner, Supe r Saturday Citizen will have a look at some of the legendary names that have played for the Wanderers over the years. This week we have a look at centres. Des Sinclair played centre for the Boks in four Tests against the British Lions in 1955.
In 1989 Danie Craven had a book published on who he thought were The Legends of Springbok Rugby 1889 to 1989. Des Sinclair was included in the line-up together with fellow Wanderers players Syd Nomis and Ray Mordt. Peter Swanson played for the club in the late Sixties and early Seventies and for Transvaal from 1968 to 1972.
A very steady player and distributor, very strong on defence, Swanson was chosen as a Springbok to go on the 1971 tour to Australia, where the Springboks were unbeaten. He did not play in a Test match and later returned to Australia to play Rugby League. Joe Kaminer first played for Transvaal while at Wits and joined Wanderers after graduating. He played in one Test match against France at Ellis Park in 1958.
Kaminer teamed up in the centre with Norman Bridger for Wanderers and Transvaal in the late Fifties and early Sixties. Bridger represented the Junior Springboks on three occasions – in 1958 against France, on the 1959 tour of Argentina, and in 1960 against the All Blacks.
At one stage the Wanderers backline had four Springboks and a Junior Springbok, and came about second last in the league. Michael du Plessis, brother of the “Prince of wings” Carel, played eight Test for the Boks. Other centres who played for Wanderers and Transvaal were Paul Geldenhuys, Pieter Williams, Taai Krige (the grandson of the legendary Japie), Pip Kauffman, Wayne Jackson and Keith Savage.
There was also Mike Bernon, Steve Venter, Frank Quinn, Springbok Jeremly J Nel, Graham Birkett and Ferdi Aston. When Mickey Gerber took over the chairmanship of the Wanderers, one of the first players he recruited was Dries Maritz, who played for RAU and Roodepoort before joining Wanderers. In all Maritz played 141 games for Tr ansvaal. Some names have been omitted but not forgotten.
■ The club will name their Wanderers XV at their black tie dinner, where Welsh wizard Gareth Edwards is the main speaker, in the ballroom at the Wanderers Club on Thursday, October 4. Please contact Pat Lynch ( l y n c h @ a b s a m a i l . c o . z a , 083-461-2409) for more information and prices.
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