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Daan Swiegers

The former vice president of Northern Transvaal, convener of the national selectors and coach of Tukkies, Prof Daan Swiegers, has a big smile on his face when he starts to speak about rugby in the old days.

"I think the rugby was better in the past. I don't have a real good reason to say so, but my gut feeling tells me that."

Prof Daan, who grew up in the Karoo in Britsdown, studied psychology at the University of Stellenbosch and after he finished his degree he came to Tuks as a lecturer where he worked all his life.

"I only had one job throughout my life and I loved it. That is where I met my wife Joan. Joan was actually a student of mine but we only started dating after she obtained her degree."

Joan is quick to say that all the girls liked the young psychology lecturer who played for Tuks and for Northern Transvaal, "but he didn't even notice me.

"I never told my friends that I fancied him and it was only later that we started to see one another. I passed all my subjects that Daan taught with distinction and I'm proud to say that I did it without any help from him!"

Prof Daan, who is currently 84, and Joan have two children, Giam and Allen and they are also fond of rugby just like their parents.

"You don't have much of a choice if you grew up in a house like ours and I remember they played for Affies when they won the Administrateurs Beker for the last time."

Prof was a national selector for 24 years and he was the beloved President of Tuks Rugby for ten years.

He is now a honourary member of the Blue Bulls and still follows the team's progress every week.

"I worked at the psychology department all my life and I was involved with rugby throughout my career but I always treasured the time that we as a family could go to the Kruger Park and I loved my hunting trips.

"I have hunted big game all over Africa and joined Prof Fritz Eloff on a regular basis when he went to the Kalahari. Growing up on a farm I have always enjoyed being in nature and I still remember the thrill when we were hunting buffaloes, lions or elephants."

When asked about the best rugby players that he has seen in his prestigious career he is quick to point out that Frik du Preez was the best of the best but he also had a very high regard for Daan Retief.

"Frik was in a class of his own and I think he was the best player that I have seen. Daan was also very special and played wing for Tukkies before he switched to loose forward later in his career."

*Prof Daan and his wife Joan are living in Waterkloof, Pretoria and it is wonderful and inspiring to see how they treat and speak to one another and how they help each other with everyday life as they are getting older.

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