Former Springbok wing dies of Covid-19 complications

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Corra Dirksen in action for Northern Transvaal.
Corra Dirksen in action for Northern Transvaal.
Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images
  • Former Springbok wing Corra Dirksen has passed away from Covid-19 complications.
  • Dirksen, 82, was a medical doctor by trade and was still practicing his profession until he contracted the coronavirus about two weeks ago.
  • He played 10 Tests for the Springboks between 1963 and 1968.

Former Springbok wing Corra Dirksen passed away from Covid-19 complications on Friday.

He was 82.

A medical doctor by trade, Dirksen was still practicing his profession in Krugersdorp until he contracted the coronavirus about two weeks ago.

Dirksen played 10 Tests for the Springboks between 1963 and 1968, scoring three tries.

He ended his Test career in the 1968 series against the British & Irish Lions, playing in the first two Tests of the Boks' 3-0 victory.

Dirksen's three Test tries were scored in the 1967 home series against France - he crossed the line twice during South Africa's 26-3 win in Durban and once in the 16-3 win in Bloemfontein.

He also played in the 19-14 defeat in the third Test in Johannesburg, as well as the series-clinching 6-6 draw in the final Test in Cape Town. Dirksen's exploits impressed the French so much that he was dubbed "Le Monster" afterwards.

The burly winger, who stood 1.84m and 84kg, also played 35 times for Northern Transvaal (now called Blue Bulls).

Blue Bulls president Willem Strauss told Netwerk24 that the union was saddened to hear of Dirksen's passing.

"He was obviously one of our most celebrated Blue Bulls and comes from a well-known family, with his brother Hansie having also played provincial rugby (for Free State)," Strauss said.

- Compiled by Herman Mostert

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