SA Rugby pays tribute to Wannenburg: 'Who will ever forget try in 2006 victory over All Blacks?'

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Pedrie Wannenburg in action against the All Blacks. (Photo by Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images)
Pedrie Wannenburg in action against the All Blacks. (Photo by Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images)

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander paid tribute to former Springbok loose forward Pedrie Wannenburg, who tragically died over the weekend.

Wannenburg was killed in a multi-vehicle crash in Houston, Texas as a high-speed police chase ended.

He was 41 years old.

Wannenburg made his Springbok debut against France in Paris in 2002 at the age of 21 and went onto play 20 Tests.

READ: TRIBUTE | Pedrie Wannenburg powered Bulls from zeroes to heroes

Alexander stated that Wannenburg always had a smile on his face and was a hard-working man.

"Pedrie will be remembered as one of the first real versatile loose forwards who could play in any position in the back-row and even though he played in only 20 Tests, his record in the colours of the Bulls, during a period where they dominated on all levels, is nearly unmatched," said Alexander in a press statement.

"After he finished his career in South Africa, he went on to make a big impact playing club rugby in Ireland, France and later the USA, and he started giving back to the game in a coaching capacity after he retired a few years ago.

"Pedrie was a fun-loving and hard-working man and someone who gave all he had on the pitch, but afterwards always had a smile on his face. He represented his country with aplomb - who will ever forget the try he scored in the narrow victory over the All Blacks in Rustenburg in 2006?

"To lose someone at the cusp of his life after a long and storied rugby career is extremely sad.

"Our thoughts are with his wife, Evette, children, Isabelle and Francois, as well as his parents and other family members, loved ones and friends during this very difficult time."

Wannenburg was a stalwart of the Bulls team and was part of the team that won Super Rugby in 2007, 2009 and 2010, and the Currie Cup from 2002 to 2004, 2006 (shared) and 2009.

He also became the first player to reach 100 caps in Super Rugby and set a record of 99 consecutive games.

In 2010, he moved to Ireland and played for Ulster, followed by stints with French clubs Oyonnax and Castres, before he moved to the USA and played for Denver and Austin.

Wannenburg retired from the game in 2018 and then started coaching in the USA.

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