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RIP Piet Boonzaaier, 1950-2017
September 12, 2017
SA Rugby President, Mr Mark Alexander, paid tribute to former SA Rugby Federation player Piet Boonzaaier, who sadly passed away last Friday, 8 September, aged 67.

Boonzaaier, from Stellenbosch in his playing days, played lock and was a member of the Proteas team that faced the All Blacks in Goodwood in front of a 10,000-strong crowd.

Jack Juries captained the Proteas on a historic and wet day in Cape Town, where the visitors from New Zealand, captained by Andy Leslie, won 25-3. It was the first time the All Blacks had played against a non-white team in South Africa.

Boonzaaier also played for the Federation team against the erstwhile Northern Transvaal to mark the opening of the Loftus Versfeld grand stand in 1977, packing down in the middle row with former Springbok lock Schalk Burger Senior.

Apart from his success on the rugby field, Boonzaaier, who made his Proteas debut in 1971, was also an icon in his community and served as a role model for many younger players. To mark his passing, a minute’s silence was held before the Currie Cup match last weekend between DHL Western Province and the Toyota Free State Cheetahs at DHL Newland in Cape Town.

Mr Alexander said: “Piet Boonzaaier made his Proteas debut in 1971 and was known as one of the hard men in his playing days, but he also contributed to his community off the field. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Rosy, his children, family and friends in this time of grief.”

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