OPINION | What makes a Springbok: nature or nurture?

accreditation
Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Hard work has seen Marcell Coetzee (left) and Jannie Brooks shine for the Springboks.
Hard work has seen Marcell Coetzee (left) and Jannie Brooks shine for the Springboks.

Many have pronounced on what it takes for a boy to become a Springbok. For Danie Craven family lineage — the bloodline as he called it — was a major factor; and he would point to brothers, and even fathers and sons — such as Felix and Morné Du Plessis — who wore the green-and-gold jersey.

During the whites-only days Craven’s assertion certainly held water, with big giant-like Afrikaner men dominating Bok teams, and intimidating the opposition. So much so that a Welsh pundit opined that “Springboks are not born, they are planted”.

The 1912-13 Springbok team to England was almost a family affair, in that there were three Luyt brothers, two Morkel brothers, while other team members were brothers or cousins of former Boks.

Support independent journalism
Subscribe to News24 for just R75 per month to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism. You can cancel any time.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in
Daily Poll
After hearing the ANC’s elections manifesto, do you believe the party can do better over the next 5 years?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
14% - 4 votes
No
69% - 20 votes
We’ll wait and see
17% - 5 votes
Vote

E-Editions

Read the digital editions of Witness here.
Read now