Piet Greyling

Pieter Johannes Frederik 'Piet' Greyling, born 16 May 1942 in Zastron, South Africa, is a South African rugby union player who has represented the national team, the Springboks, 43 times, captaining them once, and scoring 5 tries in total. Greyling has been described as one of the best and toughest flanks,[1] and is best known for his pairing with Jan Ellis in 24 tests.

Piet Greyling
Birth namePieter Johannes Frederik 'Piet' Greyling
Date of birth (1942-05-16) 16 May 1942 (age 78)
Place of birthZastron, South Africa
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight85 kg (13 st 5 lb)
SchoolHoërskool Sentraal, Bloemfontein
UniversityPotchefstroom Agriculture College
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1967 Collegians (Bloemfontein) ()
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
Orange Free State
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1967–72  South Africa 25 5 tries

Early lifeEdit

Piet Greyling was brought up on a tobacco farm in Mashonaland in then-Rhodesia. At the age of 14 he was sent to Sentraal High School[2] in Bloemfontein, and eventually played for Free State Schools. Afer briefly attending Potchefstroom Agricultural College, Greyling returned to Rhodesia.[1]


Greyling played club rugby for Hartley[3] and represented Rhodesia, which then participated in South Africa's top-level domestic provincial league, the Currie Cup. He featured well in Rhodesia's match against Michel Crauste's 1964 touring French side, which the home team lost 11-34.[4]

In 1965 Greyling moved to South Africa.[4] Stints for the Free State (1967) and Northern Transvaal teams followed, before he settled for Transvaal, where he played for Diggers Rugby Club[5] [6] Under his captaincy Transvaal shared the Currie Cup with Northern Transvaal in 1971, ending a 19-year drought, and won it outright in 1972 with a 25-19 win against Eastern Transvaal.[1]

Greyling made his Springbok debut at flank in the first test against France at Kings Park, Durban, on 15 July 1967, which South Africa won 26-3. South African rugby administrator Danie Craven described the test as a vital one, as South Africa had lost 8 of its previous 9 test matches.[1]

When Greyling and Jan Ellis played on the same team, they formed a formidable pair in which Greyling performed a destructive role on which Ellis could capitalise, as Barry John recalled in his 1974 autobiography.[1]

Greyling's work ethic on the field was such that Craven said that for 80 minutes he drove himself like a slave.[7]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e "Piet Greyling". Springbokrugby.webs.com. The McLook rugby collection. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  2. ^ Bruwer, Ruan (4 June 2016). "3 SA skole spog met ewe veel voor-Bokke". Netwerk24. Retrieved 23 April 2018. Sentraal High produced two Springbok captains: Greyling, and Nelie Smith (1964, 1965).
  3. ^ "New Boks could surface from the backwaters". Sunday Times. 10 February 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Ronald Andrew Hill". Milton Junior School. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Zim Boks are nothing new". Sport24. 5 September 2008. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Diggers rugby". SASPA Archives. South African Sports Picture Agency. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  7. ^ Geen, Michael (21 October 2017). "Juan Smith: Klink 'n glasie op 'n grote". Network24. Retrieved 23 April 2018.

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Hannes Marais
Springbok Captain
Succeeded by
Morne du Plessis