Gerrie Germishuys was a classic wing with blistering pace. Learn about his life and career with Rugby365, your resident rugby gurus. Click here for more.
Gerrie Germishuys Biography
Gerrie Germishuys was a classic winger who regularly beat his opponents on the outside, using his blistering pace to beat his man.
He was born on 29 October 1949 in Port Shepstone and finished his schooling at Brandwag in Benoni.
Gerrie Germishuys' provincial career was with the Free State Rugby whom he represented between 1974 and 1977 before moving north to join Transvaal.
The wing made his international rugby debut on 22 June 1974 for the Springboks against the British & Irish Lions.
Those days the wings still through the ball in at line-out time. He had a torrid time with his throwing during the second test at Loftus and was left out of the team list for the last test.
In 1980, when he played in all four tests, the hookers had started acquired the throw-in duties. But during the third test, Gerrie Germishuys again did it.
He was chasing a ball kicked forward by Lions wing Clive Woodward. He chased the ball and quickly threw it in to teammate Theuns Stoffberg, who ran a few paces before passing back to Germishuys, who dived over for one of the most important tries of his career.
Gerrie Germishuys scored a couple of memorable tries against New Zealand in his 20-match test career, the most impressive of which was jinking run around the All Blacks' defence in 1976. South Africa were enjoying their most fruitful period of success against New Zealand, and the 1976 series between these two nations was the second consecutive tour that the Springboks won against their fierce rivals.
The Springboks and All Blacks share one of the fiercest rivalries in world rugby and the test in 1981 in Wellington was no exception. The demo-plagued tour was extremely taxing on the Springbok team with anti-apartheid protestors doing their best to disrupt the tour, but the Boks soldiered on. After losing the first Test, they went to Wellington under pressure. The touring squad split up and the Test team slept in squash courts the night before the match and blew the All Blacks away the next day. Gerrie Germishuys scored another superb try against their old foes, while Naas Botha scored 21 points, which included a drop goal.
The speedster scored a then-record 12 tries in 20 Tests for the Springboks from 1974-1981.
Gerrie Germishuys' true pace was best illustrated when, in a race for rugby players at an athletics track meeting in Bloemfontein, he lined up against Pierre Spies, the former a South African champion in the 110-metre hurdles, as well as Hermanus Potgieter, himself a flyer of note. The debate about who was the fastest rugby player of the time was settled when Germishuys won in a time of 10.8.
However, being fast and using that pace on a rugby field are two different skills and Gerrie Germishuys had the ability to run and swerve at pace.
After rugby he became a teacher, and later a lecturer at Goudstad College of Education and then University of Johannesburg (UJ).