Tommy Bedford

Thomas Pleydell 'Tommy' Bedford (born 8 February 1942 in Bloemfontein, South Africa) is a South African former rugby union player who has represented the national team, the Springboks, 25 times, captaining the Springboks on 3 occasions.

Tommy Bedford
Birth nameThomas Pleydell Bedford
Date of birth (1942-02-08) 8 February 1942 (age 78)
Place of birthBloemfontein, South Africa
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight85 kg (13 st 5 lb)
UniversityUniversity of Natal
Rugby union career
Position(s) Number 8
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
1961–1976 Natal 119 ()
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1963–1971 South Africa 25 (3)


Tommy Bedford won the first of his 25 caps against Australia as a flank forward on 13 July 1963. Though he appeared as a 21-year-old flank forward in six Test matches, it was the number 8 position that established him as a player of outstanding quality on the international scene.

A very athletic and dynamic number 8 he formed a remarkably efficient and complementary back-row partnership with Jan Ellis and Piet Greyling. He made his debut against the Lions in an historic Test at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria - the first ever international in which replacements were allowed for injury, though no more than four players per team could be replaced in a match at the time. He played number 8 in all four Tests against the 1968 Lions with South Africa winning the tightly-fought series 3-0, with one drawn, when in both the first and third Tests the winning margin was only five points. The young Durban architect, who captained his provincial team Natal, also led his country three times, against Australia (twice) and Scotland on the 1969 tour to Britain and Ireland.

Despite his prowess as a player and captain, it is thought that his relentless and uncompromising criticism of the apartheid system and the rugby establishment contributed to a premature end of his playing career.[1] He retired from international rugby after the drawn Test with France in Durban in 1971.[2]

Professionally, he was an architect who, in 1965, was elected a Rhodes scholar.[1]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Bishop, John (13 June 2009). "Twos-up Tommy". The Witness.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Dawie de Villiers
Springbok Captain
Succeeded by
Hannes Marais