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Basie Vivier

basie viviers
Stefanus Sebastian "Basie" Vivier 1 March 1927 – 18 October 2009 was a South African rugby union player He was capped for South Africa five times in 1956, though he was first selected to play for the Springboks on the 1951–52 South Africa rugby tour of Great Britain, Ireland and France; but was never selected for an international game on that tour The touring team of 1951/52 is seen as one of the greatest South African teams, winning 30 of the 31 matches, including all five internationals


  • 1 Personal history
  • 2 Rugby career
  • 3 References
  • 4 Bibliography

Personal history

Vivier was born Stefanus Sebastian Viviers in 1927 in Pietersburg, Limpopo province to Stefanus Vivier The family name was spelt "Viviers" until it was discovered that the 's' had been appended to his father's name by his school, and the family changed their surname when it was established in 1955 that the true surname was "Vivier" He was educated at Kenhardt and Nylstroom A member of the South African Police in Pretoria, he later went mining in the new Orange Free State gold town of Welkom after 1951 he became an insurance salesman before he was made marketing consultant for National Industries

Vivier was known for his congeniality and sense of humour on tours South African rugby journalist R K Stent, in his 1952 book The Fourth Springboks, described Vivier as the 'side's court jester' who possessed a fine tenor voice

He married Eunice de Watt, with whom he had four children

Rugby career

Vivier played provincial rugby for Northern Transvaal from 1947 to 1950, before moving to the Free State where he played for Orange Free State His 28 points scored in the 1950 match between Northern Transvaal and North Eastern Districts set a South African record, beating the 24 points scored by Gerry Brand 26 years earlier

In 1951 he attended the Newlands' trials, set to determine the squad for the fourth Springboks tour of Britain Vivier was selected as a utility back He played 14 games on the tour, nine at centre, five at full-back and in the match against North of Scotland an injury to Johannes Oelofse saw Vivier switch from centre to scrum-half Despite only playing 14 of the 31 matches, and not playing in any of the five international games, Viviers ended as the tour's second highest scorer with 58 points His first match in the Springboks jersey was on 13 October 1952, in a win against a combined South-Western counties team He followed this the very next match with his first points for South Africa, scoring a penalty as full-back in an encounter with a joint Pontypridd/Newbridge team in Wales Throughout the tour when not playing, Vivier was often used as one of the touch judges

On his return to South Africa, Vivier continued to turn out for Orange Free State, but was still unable to break into the international side Two touring sides came to South Africa before Vivier won his first international cap, the 1952 Australian tour and the 1955 British Lions Neither saw Vivier selected, therefore it was a surprise when Vivier was chosen to captain the Springboks on their 1956 tour of Australia and New Zealand The season before Vivier had played the three opening games for Orange Free State, but had then been dropped for the next eight, he also had no international experience Despite this, Vivier was then chosen for the 1956 tour ahead of in form fullback Jack van der Schyff The first choice captains for the tour were Salty du Rand, captain of North Transvaal, and Jan Pickard, captain of Western Province; but the two men brawled with each other during the trials This led the selectors to find an alternative choice, a player who would have the ability to unite the team; they chose Vivier

The tour took in 29 matches, including two Tests against Australia and four against the New Zealand 'All Blacks' The first Test of the tour was against Australia at Sydney on 26 May 1956 Viviers was selected at full-back, winning his first international cap, and scoring his forst international points, with a penalty goal in a 9–0 victory The second Test against Australia saw Vivier switch from full-back, Johnny Buchler taking that position, to half-back South Africa won 9–0

The first Test in New Zealand saw du Rand take the captaincy when Vivier was indisposed; South Africa lost 6–10 The second Test, played at Wellington, saw Vivier back in the team at full-back The game was won by South Africa 8–3, with Vivier again on the score sheet converting one of the two tries He continued in his position as full back for the final two Tests of the tour, both loses Vivier scored in both Tests converting both South African tries in the third and Dryburgh's try in the fourth The New Zealand defeat of South Africa in the Test series was the Springboks' first series defeat since 1896 He never represented South Africa again

After retiring from playing, Vivier became a selector for Western Transvaal and then Northern Transvaal


  1. ^ "Basie Vivier" ESPN Scrumcom Retrieved 14 June 2011 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Basie Viviers dies in Brandfort" rugby365com 19 October 2009 Archived from the original on 22 October 2009 Retrieved 19 October 2009 
  3. ^ a b Stent 1952 p20-21
  4. ^ Stent 1952 p140
  5. ^ Stent 1952 p209
  6. ^ a b Stent 1952 pp210–211
  7. ^ Griffiths 1987 p6:11
  8. ^ "South Africa tour – Sydney, 26 May 1956: Australia 0 0 – 9 3 South Africa" ESPN Scrumcom Retrieved 19 June 2011 
  9. ^ "South Africa tour – Brisbane, 2 June 1956: Australia 0 0 – 9 3 South Africa" ESPN Scrumcom Retrieved 19 June 2011 
  10. ^ "South Africa tour – Wellington, 4 August 1956: New Zealand 3 3 – 8 0 South Africa" ESPN Scrumcom Retrieved 19 June 2011 


  • Billot, John 1974 Springboks in Wales Ferndale: Ron Jones Publications 
  • Griffiths, John 1987 The Phoenix Book of International Rugby Records London: Phoenix House ISBN 0-460-07003-7 
  • Parker, AC 1970 The Springboks, 1891–1970 London: Cassell & Company Ltd ISBN 0-304-93591-3 
  • Stent, RK 1952 The Fourth Springboks 1951–1952 London: Longmans, Green and Co 

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