Legendary Springbok prop Os du Randt has singled out a fellow South African as the most challenging opponent he ever faced at scrum time during his illustrious career.
The 48-year-old Du Randt is a two-time World Cup winner, who played at three editions of the game’s greatest showpiece in 1995, 1999 and 2007.
Appearing as a special guest of fellow Springboks Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger’s chat show, Use It or Lose, the 8o-cap veteran revealed who he rates as his toughest scrummaging opponent and why.
‘As a front-rower, I will always back Dougie Heymans. I cut my teeth playing for a Free State ‘B’ side against him,’ Du Randt explained.
‘In those days, we didn’t gym, so for all your power work, you had to do a hundred scrums, which is unheard of these days. I remember [late former Springbok, EP and Free State coach] Nelie Smith bringing us those little [shoulder] pads that women wore inside their jackets.
‘We had to stitch them in with a needle and thread. When you scrummed, the blood would literally come out of your shoulders. You did a lot of hard work there. I can still remember going into a scrum thinking, right Dougie, I’ve got you now.
‘And then you start hearing somebody groaning or can’t breathe, and then you suddenly realise, Os, that’s you. He just wiggled out of that.’
When asked about the toughest foreign players he had come up against throughout his career, Du Randt put an All Black and an Englishman at the top of his list.
‘Internationally, I thought a guy like Julian White [England] in 2004 at Twickenham really had my number that day. We struggled in the scrums.
‘Olo Brown [New Zealand] was good in ’95. What made those guys good was, in the final, they played their 45th consecutive game together as a tight five. So they knew what to expect from each other and how to fix any problem.’
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