|Danie Craven in the team photo of the 1937|
|Full name||Daniël Hartman Craven|
|Date of birth||1910-10-11|
|Place of birth||Lindley, Free State, South Africa|
|Date of death||1993-01-04|
|Place of death||Stellenbosch, South Africa|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Weight||80 kg (12 st 8 lb)|
|Rugby union career|
|Years||Club / team||Caps||(points)|
|correct as of 2007-11-02.|
Daniël Hartman Craven (11 October 1910 – 4 January 1993), more famously known as Danie Craven or simply Doc Craven, is a former Western Province, Eastern Province, Northern Transvaal and Springbok rugby union player as well as arguably South Africa's best and best-known rugby administrator. He also coached the Springboks between 1949 and 1956, becoming one of the most successful Springbok coaches of all time.
He was born in Lindley, Free State province, South Africa and attended the Lindley High School there. Later he studied at Stellenbosch University in the Western Province where he received his Doctorate and eventually also lectured, and played for the Western Province rugby union team.
He married twice and had four children.
During his stay at Stellenbosch he became the residence principal of Wilgenhof men's residence.
He played his first test match on 5 December 1931 (as scrum half) at the age of 21 against Wales at St Helens, Swansea. His last test match was on 10 September 1938 as captain (also as scrum half) at the age of 27 against the British Lions at Newlands, Cape Town. During the 1930s he was one of the world's leading scrumhalves, but the start of the Second World War in 1939 probably ended his career prematurely.
Danie Craven joined the defence force in 1938. During the Second World War an advertisement was later placed in Afrikaans language newspapers to attract men to join the Union Defence Force. It showed Danie Craven in his uniform, looking into the distance and announcing, 'I am playing in the biggest Springbok team ever; join me and score the most important try of your life.'
After his rugby-playing career ended, he became a national selector until he was appointed coach in 1949. He started his coaching career with a bang, winning 10 matches in a row, including a 4–0 whitewash of New Zealand in their 1949 tour to South Africa, and leaving the Springboks undefeated from 1949 to 1952. Under his guidance the Springboks played 23 tests, winning 17 (73%), an achievement that makes him one of South Africa's greatest coaches in history.
The last part of Craven's chairmanship of the SARB occurred during the country's most tumultuous years. Rugby had become the national sport of white South Africans and a symbol of Afrikaner power. In the 1970s and 1980s, the outlawed African National Congress allied with overseas anti-apartheid movements succeeded in getting South Africa isolated from sporting contact with the rest of the world. Of all the sanctions aimed at South Africa, none upset the white population more than the ban on rugby internationals. In 1988, in a bold bid to return to global competition, Craven met leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) in Zimbabwe and entered an unprecedented deal to form a single rugby association fielding an integrated team for foreign tournaments. Many right-wing whites in South Africa attacked Craven for meeting with the ANC which they regarded as treason, and then-president P.W. Botha denounced the move. Although the deal did not lead to the immediate end of the sporting isolation, it paved the way for the formation of the unified body, the South African Rugby Football Union (SARFU) in 1992, with Craven as its first chairman, until he died in 1993, having served for an unbroken 37 years at the head of the sport.
Doc Craven also had a dog named "Bliksem" (Afrikaans for "rascal") who is also depicted at his statue in Stellenbosch.
Doc Craven also said "When Maties and Western Province rugby are strong, then Springbok rugby is strong."
- Jani Allan (1980s). Face Value. Longstreet.
- Grundlingh, Albert (1999). "The King's Afrikaners? Enlistment and Ethnic Identity in the Union of South Africa's Defence Force during the Second World War, 1939–45". The Journal of African History 40 (3): 351–365. JSTOR 183618.
- "World Notes: South Africa." Time Magazine, Monday, 31 October 1988.
- Crawford, Scott A.G.M. (1996). "New Zealand rugby museum". Journal of Sport History 23 (3): 338–340.
Bliksem means lightning in Afrikaans and not rascal (bliksem straal = lightning bolt)
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Danie Craven|
- "Danie Craven". nzhistory.net.nz. 23 October 2007. Retrieved 25 December 2007.
- "Huge IRB honour for Craven". rugbyrugby.com. 7 November 2007. Retrieved 25 December 2007.
- Davies, Sean (7 November 2007). "Mighty Boks: South African rugby". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 25 December 2007.
- "Danie Craven". rugbyhalloffame.com. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2007.
Philip J. Nel
Felix du Plessis