Former Springbok hooker Abie Malan passed away on Thursday from complications following knee surgery.
Born Gabriel Frederick Malan, Abie's international career included 18 Tests from 1958 to 1965, having made his debut against France at the age of 22.
Oregan Hoskins expressed his condolences to Malan's family on behalf of Saru and the South African rugby fraternity.
'I would like to pass on my condolences to Abie’s family at this time of their loss. He was the perfect example of the Springbok forward; tough, uncomplaining and a remorseless opponent who never gave up on the cause. He continued a legacy that our players still strive to achieve,' said the Saru president.
Malan tasted success in the green and gold, beating the 1960 All Blacks 2-1 in a four-match Test series in SA before embarking on the Springboks' last Grand Slam-winning tour to the UK. In 1962, Malan was an integral part of the Boks' 3-0 Test series victory over the British & Irish Lions.
He later became a Springbok selector and up until the operation, was still active on his grape farm outside Upington.
After 51 years, Waratahs and Wallabies prop Benn Robinson returned Abie’s 1963 Springbok Test jersey to its rightful owner from his opponent that day, Jim Miller, with whom he swapped jerseys after the match. It was thought to have been hidden away for over half a century.
Malan is survived by his wife, three children and seven grandchildren.
Photo: Gallo Images