Brilliant tactician and powerful runner, Henry Honiball is one of Springbok rugby’s unsung heroes. Learn more about the on field genius with Rugby365
Henry Honiball Biography
Perhaps one of the more underappreciated talents among the South African rugby scene, Henry Honiball was a mastermind general and exceptional runner with the ball.
The stoic Springbok was born on December 1st 1965 in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal and completed his schooling at the University of the Free State.
He started his local rugby career playing for the Cheetahs in the Currie Cup and made 38 appearances for them between 1989 and 1991. His time in the rugby scene almost drew to a close when he joined his father on their family farm. Fortunately for South African rugby fans, Henry Honiball was persuaded to rejoin the leagues.
The mastermind would move to play for his birth province, the Sharks in 1992 at the age of 26. He stayed at the Durban franchise for 7 years, accumulating 111 appearances in the Currie Cup alone. He also played for the east coast side in Super Rugby and bagged 356 points.
During his time at the Sharks he won three Currie Cup trophies, the first coming during his introductory season back to the game. The final was played against the Lions and the Sharks snagged a 14 - 13 victory.
Henry Honiball made his Springbok debut in 1993, coming on as a replacement in a 12 - 19 loss to Australia.
He was making quite the name for himself but missed the famous 1995 Springbok Rugby World Cup squad selection as he was injured. Upon his return the Springboks would record a fervent winning spree of 17 consecutive test victories. A record previously only held by New Zealand.
The star man played in 14 of the 17 game winning spree. He totalled 35 appearances in the green and gold between 1993 and 1999. He was also part of the 1998 Springbok side that took the Tri-nations (now The Rugby Championship) trophy.
Fortunately for the genius, he played in the 1999 Rugby World Cup but was not without a nagging ankle injury. His insights, however, made him invaluable for the team.
After the third place playoff, Henry Honiball retired from test rugby. He joined Bristol for one season and scored 283 points before a neck injury forced him to hang up his boots.
Many “ifs, buts, and maybes” have been thrown about when discussing Henry Honiball and his fitness for key games, but his mastery of the game can never be disputed.