Former Spingbok captain Johan Claassen dies aged 89

Prof. Johan Claassen sits proudly next to his Springbok blazer. Claassen was the West Transvaal’s biggest and most important player during the 1960s and 1970s. Image: Parys Gazette

Prof. Johan Claassen sits proudly next to his Springbok blazer. Claassen was the West Transvaal’s biggest and most important player during the 1960s and 1970s. Image: Parys Gazette

His death is a loss for the South African rugby industry, and he will always be seen as one of the country’s most legendary players.

Former Springbok rugby captain and lock Johan Claasen passed away on Sunday at the age of 89, reports Parys Gazette.

Claassen was the oldest surviving Springbok lock player, and was known for giving his all on the field.

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He represented the Springboks in 28 test matches from 1955 to 1962, and during this time was not left out of the team once.

He also led the team as captain nine times, due to historic wins.

He played 10 matches for West Transvaal, and was president of the West Transvaal rugby union from 1977 to 1998.

Claassen also coached the Springbok team from 1968 to 1976, leading them to 17 victories.

Claasssen death is a loss for the South African rugby industry, and will always be seen as one of the country’s most legendary players.

This article was translated from Afrikaans by Nica Schreuder.

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