Danie Gerber (born 14 April 1958 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa) is a former South African rugby union player, who played for South Africa between 1980 and 1992. He played mainly at inside or outside centre, but also on the wing.
|Birth name||Daniel Mattheus Gerber|
|Date of birth||14 April 1958|
|Place of birth||Port Elizabeth, South Africa|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||91 kg (201 lb)|
|Rugby union career|
His international career was severely limited because of South Africa's sporting isolation caused by apartheid. He won only 24 caps for South Africa (scoring 19 tries), despite playing internationally for 12 years. However despite this, in 2007 he was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame.
Gerber initially played football and cricket at school level, but accelerated quickly when starting rugby, playing for SA schools.
Gerber's international career of games played and Points scored:
- In 1980 he played two tests against the South American Jaguars (a team mainly made up of Argentine players but also included a few Uruguayan, Chilean, Paraguayan and Brazilian players) in Montevideo and Santiago. He scored a try in each test. He also played one test against France in Pretoria without scoring any points, and one other test that year.
- In 1981 he played two tests against Ireland in Cape Town (scoring two tries) and in Durban without scoring points. He also went on the 1981 Springbok Tour of New Zealand, playing in all three tests, (Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland) without scoring any points. The infamous tour was lost by the Springboks due to a controversial penalty by the referee four minutes into injury time in the final test. (Ray Mordt scored three tries in the final test of the series.) He also played the final test of 1981 against the USA in Glenville, without scoring any points.
- In 1982 he played two tests against the South American Jaguars (again, mainly made up of Argentine players but also included a few Uruguayan, Chilean, Paraguayan and Brazilian players) scoring three tries in Pretoria and one in Bloemfontein.
- In 1984 he played two tests against England, scoring one try in his hometown, Port Elizabeth and three in Johannesburg. In this series Gerber played outside South Africa's first ever Black player, Errol Tobias, in the series, and scored three tries in the second Test. Again the South American Jaguars toured South Africa and Gerber scored one try and one conversion in Pretoria and one try in Cape Town.
- In 1986 the New Zealand Cavaliers (a rebel tour conducted against the wishes of the NZ Rugby Union) toured South Africa, Gerber played in all four 'test' fixtures in Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg and only managed one try in the Pretoria game.
- In 1992, after a long period of South African rugby isolation, Gerber played his final five test matches vs: New Zealand in Johannesburg scoring two tries, Australia in Cape Town without scoring any points, France in Lyon and Parc des Princes scoring one try in each match. His final test was against England on Twickenham which went without scoring any points.
|No.||Opposition||Result (SA 1st)||Position||Points||Date||Venue|
|1.||South American Jaguars||22–13||Centre||4 (1 try)||18 October 1980||Wanderers Club, Montevideo|
|2.||South American Jaguars||30–16||Centre||4 (1 try)||25 October 1980||Prince of Wales Cricket Club, Santiago|
|3.||France||37–15||Centre||8 November 1980||Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria|
|4.||Ireland||23–15||Centre||8 (2 tries)||30 May 1981||Newlands, Cape Town|
|5.||Ireland||12–10||Centre||6 June 1981||Kings Park, Durban|
|6.||New Zealand||9–14||Centre||15 August 1981||Lancaster Park, Christchurch|
|7.||New Zealand||24–12||Centre||29 August 1981||Athletic Park, Wellington|
|8.||New Zealand||22–25||Centre||12 September 1981||Eden Park, Auckland|
|9.||United States||38–7||Centre||20 September 1981||Owl Creek Polo ground, Glenville, New York|
|10.||South American Jaguars||50–18||Centre||12 (3 tries)||27 March 1982||Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria|
|11.||South American Jaguars||12–21||Centre||4 (1 try)||3 April 1982||Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein|
|12.||England||33 - 15||Centre||4 (1 try)||2 June 1984||Boet Erasmus Stadium, Port Elizabeth|
|13.||England||35 - 9||Centre||12 (3 tries)||9 June 1984||Ellis Park, Johannesburg|
|14.||South American Jaguars||32–15||Centre||6 (1 try, 1 conv.)||20 October 1984||Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria|
|15.||South American Jaguars||21–13||Centre||4 (1 try)||27 October 1984||Newlands, Cape Town|
|16.||New Zealand Cavaliers||21–15||Centre||10 May 1986||Newlands, Cape Town|
|17.||New Zealand Cavaliers||18–19||Centre||17 May 1986||Kings Park, Durban|
|18.||New Zealand Cavaliers||33–18||Centre||4 (1 try)||24 May 1986||Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria|
|19.||New Zealand Cavaliers||24–10||Centre||31 May 1986||Ellis Park, Johannesburg|
|20.||New Zealand||24–27||Centre||10 (2 tries)||15 August 1992||Ellis Park, Johannesburg|
|21.||Australia||3–26||Centre||22 August 1992||Newlands, Cape Town|
|22.||France||20–15||Centre||5 (1 try)||17 October 1992||Stade de Gerland, Lyon|
|23.||France||16–29||Centre||5 (1 try)||24 October 1992||Parc des Princes, Paris|
|24.||England||16–33||Centre||14 November 1992||Twickenham, London|
Gerber scored 19 tries in 24 internationals, a very high strike rate for a centre.
Style of playEdit
Gerber had very high acceleration and pace, could sidestep off either foot, break tackles, had a clear vision of space on the field, and high ball skill levels (catching, passing and kicking). He was also very solid in defence.
Gerber attributed his sidestep to his early football. He trained extensively (particularly running, but also swimming, circuit training and weights) and had a high fitness level, which were unusual attributes before rugby went professional.
Gerber has been described as one of the greatest ever rugby centres. He has been named South Africa's greatest ever centre, and Naas Botha has said he is one of the greatest ever South African rugby players. Martin Johnson named him in his International Rugby Hall of Fame member's XV, and Bill McLaren's named him in his 'all time' XV.
Gerber is married to Elsabe.
In 2002 he had heart surgery, and his family have a pattern of high cholesterol.
- List of South Africa national rugby union players – Springbok no. 514
- Knowler, Richard (16 April 2005). "GERBER LAMENTS POACHING AND POLITICS". The Press. p. 2.
- "Daniel Gerber". rugbyhalloffame.com. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
- "Danie Gerber". scrum.com. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
- Struthers, Greg (3 June 2007). "Caught in time". London: timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
- Hewett, Chris (27 May 2007). "England the sick men of Africa". The Independent. Retrieved 31 October 2007.[dead link]
- XV refers to the fifteen players on a rugby team.
- "Martin Johnson's all-time XV". London: timesonline.co.uk. 2 August 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
- "Bill McLaren's World XV". bbc.co.uk. 5 March 2002. Retrieved 31 October 2007.