Piet van Deventer, Springbok flank on the 1969-70 tour, died over the weekend. He was 66.
Pieter Ignatius van Deventer was born in Krugersdorp on 6 June 1946. He went to school at Barkly East. He was first in the police force and played for Pretoria Police. He then moved to the manganese mine and played for Ammosal and Griqualand West. He was just 19 when he first played for Griquas and played 55 times for them between 1966 and 1974. He was on the flank for Griquas in 1970 when they did the impossible - beat the powerful Northern Transvaal side to win the Currie Cup Final. When he moved to the West Rand mines, he played for Vaal Reefs and Western Transvaal in 1974.
He became a Springbok in 1969 when he went on the demo tour to the UK and Ireland, playing in 12 of the 234 matches, but not in any Test. At the time the Springbok loose trio was Piet Greyling, Jan Ellis and Tommy Bedford.
After the tour JBG Thomas, the great Welsh rugby writer, wrote of him: "This young forward was another player who developed on tour, but who will require further experience before making the Springbok side as an eventual replacement for Ellis and Greyling.... He possesses speed and good positional sense."
Wallace Reyburn wrote of him: "If there was a find on this hapless tour it was flanker Van Deventer...His speed surprised opponents and onlookers alike....The name Van Deventer should feature prominently in future South African rugby."
A remarkably fit man in his playing days, Piet van Deventer suffered a heart attack on 14 March 2013, went to the doctor during the early hours of Friday morning and died in Krugersdorp Hospital early on Saturday morning, 16 March 2013. He was survived by his wife Marietjie.
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