Diggers Rugby Football Club  

 

Diggers History

Diggers Rugby Club was founded in 1893, which makes it one of the oldest rugby clubs in South Africa. Founding members such as Fred Frazer, Percy Alexander, Tommy Duff, Dave Eskine, Tile Corbett, W Wayland and G Ladds started the Diggers Rugby Club. Over the past 117 years we have produced the following:

  • 200 players capped for Transvaal
  • 30 Springboks, including the current President of the Golden Lions Rugby Union Kevin de Klerk
  • 3 Springbok Captains
  • 2 Vice Captains

It was decided in 1992 that Diggers Rugby Club would move from its traditional home in Springfield in the South of Johannesburg to merge with Randburg Rugby Club and they united at The Randburg Sports Complex.


Springbok Captians

Avril Malan

Avril Malan

About Avril Malan 1960 to 1965 – by Dr Craven When I was stationed in Pretoria during the war years I became very friendly with Avril’s parents. His father was a professor at Onderstepoort. I went to their home in Wonderboom one day and saw the two children, a boy and a girl, playing in the chicken run and becoming rather smelly in the process. Their mother was very apologetic and I said: “Mrs Malan, that’s not naughtiness, that’s how children should be – let them act naturally.” Later Avril came to Stellenbosch and I saw him playing for the second team. He broke through a line-out and kicked the ball away. I called him over and said: “You must come from the backwoods, because there they kick the ball away. Here we don’t – we run with it. Remember, when you break through, you’ve got all the forwards with you. There’s no need to kick away possession.” He became a wonderful player and a wonderful leader, born and bred for the task. I often felt that others got the credit due to him because he could play anyone into a team. He had great pushing strength in the scrums and his ability in the line-outs was exceptional. No-one could collect a ball quite like Avril. Avril was the first coach to have the hooker throw the ball in at the line-outs. He was much criticised at the time – even I criticised him – but it’s become the commonplace thing nowadays. He certainly knew what he was doing. By Dr Danie Craven From http://www.genslin.us/bokke/SARugby.htm

Dr Alex Frew

Dr Alex Frew

About When thealex-frew British side toured South Africa in 1903 the first test match was played at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on a Wednesday, the 26th of August. By sheer coincidence the British captain on that occasion was a Scot, Mark Morrison, and the South African captain, Alex Frew was also a Scot, having represented Scotland three times in 1901. Amazingly enough, the referee, W. P. Donaldson was also Scottish having played for Scotland from 1893 to 1899. Perhaps it just worked out that way or maybe Bill Donald son was being diplomatic, but the result of the match was a draw, 10-10. Frew had come to South Africa in 1902 to take up an appointment at the Orange River Station Refugee Camp, situated between Bloemfontein and Prieska. The name refugee camp was in fact a euphemism for its proper name concentration camp. The camp on the Orange River was not wholesome-devoid of qualified nurses with foreign doctors unable to speak English or Afrikaans. While there Frew played for Collegians in Bloemfontein but by 1903 he was in Johannesburg. He passed away in Hout Bay on the 29th of April, 1947 aged 71.

Piet Greyling

Piet Greyling

About Piet Greyling 1972 Piet always has a smile on his face. During his playing days that smile proved his enjoyment of the battle and the fact that he never seemed to lose it shows how much he enjoyed his rugby. His smile meant to me that Piet was full of confidence and that he was loving every minute of the action because he was playing well: that was patently obvious. Piet Greyling was and is destined to excel in whatever his endeavour. A wonderful flanker, he was always first to the loose ball and when he got there he always knew what to do with it. By Dr Danie Craven From http://www.genslin.us/bokke/SARugby.html

Dr Dawie de Villiers

Dr Dawie de Villiers

About Dr Dawie de Villiers 1965 to 1970 Dawie ran his personal gauntlet during the period when he suffered from a serious injury and a specialist actually predicted that he would never play rugby again. After an intervarsity match, when he watched from the stand, he came to my office on the Monday morning and said: “Doc – I can’t take this: when the Stellenbosch team lined up on the field I nearly cried. I wanted to be there with them. I have to play.” I replied: “You know, Dawie, there are two types of people: the squealers and the genuine ones. The squealer will squeal whatever happens, but the genuine type will often disregard the advice of people, even doctors, because there’s a little voice inside which says “Carry on”. Let’s see which category you fall into. The first team is having a practice today. Bring along your togs and we’ll see whether you’re going to play again.” I watched him that day and he was here, there and everywhere. You could see how delighted he was to be playing again. Dawie then went back to the doctor who had given him the thumbs down, but who this time agreed that he would take him to a specialist in Cape Town for a second opinion. The specialist tested the knee and then pointed to the doctor who had performed the operation and said: “This man has done a much better job than he realises – you may play again.” It took some time to establish himself as Piet Uys was still around. But the match at Loftus in 1965 where he stamped his authority on the game proved that he was the No. 1 scrumhalf in the country. There were many critics at the time when he was selected as a Springbok but he persevered and went on to captain South Africa more often than anyone else. At the end of his career he had silenced all the critics and had become one of the most generally admired of all the Springboks. Above all he enjoyed his rugby and that’s how I remember Dawie, a man who loved the sheer thrill of competition. By Dr Danie Craven From http://www.genslin.us/bokke/SARugby.html

Hansie Oelofse

Hansie Oelofse

About Hansie Oelofse 1953 (vice captain) Hansie could never quite produce what he was actually capable of, mainly because of a chronic leg injury. He was strong and so firm on his feet-it took more than one loose forward to topple him, and he was very agile to boot. Hansie’s was a tragic case because here we had a gem of a player who couldn’t play to his full potential because of that leg of his. A charming fellow, a team man through and through and one you could rely upon through thick and thin. By Dr Danie Craven From http://www.genslin.us/bokke/SARugby.html