22 July 2005
Os du Randt and Breyton Paulse have both been honoured for their outstanding services to Springbok rugby. It happened on Thursday evening, during a live broadcast of Supersport’s popular Boots and All rugby programme.
In recognition of their contribution, both players were presented with unique Tag Heuer watches.
Paulse, who has joined French club Clermont on a two-year contract, will be playing in his fifty-second test when he faces the Wallabies at Ellis Park on Saturday in the return leg of the Nelson Mandela Challenge Shield.
It is the first test of the year for the nippy winger because a knee injury forced him to miss the Springboks’ previous four matches.
Paulse’s last test?
There is the very real possibility that it might also be Paulse’s last game in the green and gold. His contract doesn’t include an agreement that he be released for Springbok matches if selected.
Coach Jake White reckons he wants the winger in his squad for the 2007 World Cup, but the possibility of Paulse playing home tests looks bleak at best. Would White be willing to accommodate him given the nature of his contract in France? The answer to that question will become clear soon enough.
Paulse’s superb test career began in November 1997 against Italy, a match that South Africa won 62-31. The Bok side that day included Os du Randt at loosehead prop.
The Free State stalwart won’t be playing on Saturday. He is out of the test due to injury.
World Cup winner
Du Randt’s test career began even before Paulse’s did, in October 1994, when South Africa beat Argentina 42-22 in Port Elizabeth. The following year he was an integral part of the Springboks’ World Cup winning effort on home soil.
Later, Du Randt spent almost four-and-a-half years out of international rugby after at one stage retiring from the game. Bok coach Jake White recalled him in June 2004 for a two-match series against Ireland and he was immediately rewarded as Du Randt showed he could still compete with the best.
As a result, he won the Players’ Player of the Year Award in 2004 and also appeared in all 13 of South Africa’s tests.
He won his fiftieth test cap at Twickenham last year and has played in 54 tests in all. That is a record for a Springbok prop.
Jake White is a big fan of both Paulse and Du Randt.
“The gifts, he said, “are only a small gesture of appreciation to remind them of their service and loyalty to their country and the team. Os and Breyton are two exceptional individuals and I am extremely lucky to be able to call on their services.”