Open main menu

Johannes Theodorus Claassen (23 September 1929 – 6 January 2019) was a South African rugby player, playing at the second-row forward position.[1]

Johannes Theodorus Claassen
Date of birth(1929-09-23)23 September 1929
Place of birthPrince Albert, South Africa
Date of death6 January 2019(2019-01-06) (aged 89)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Second-row forward
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Western Transvaal ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1955–1962 South Africa 28 ()


In 1958, Claassen became captain of the South African National Team before a match against the French. In 1962, he led the South African team to a winning streak, including a major victory over the British and Irish Lions. In the 1970s, he became head coach of the South African team, known as the Springboks.

In club rugby, Claassen was most notably a star for Western Transvaal.[2]


  1. ^ "Former Springbok star lock and coach, dies". sport24. 7 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Former Springbok captain Professor Johan Claassen passes away". The South African. 7 January 2019.