Carel du Plessis, one of the very best wings that played for South Africa and also a former Springbok coach, underwent a brain operation in Durbanville on Tuesday morning.
According to the website Netwerk24 the operation has been confirmed by the Western Province director of rugby Gert Small, but the reason for the operation is not known.
Carel, 58, whose son Jean-Luc is in the current Stormers Super Rugby squad with Carel’s nephew Dan, played for Western Province in the 1980s when they won fa record five successive Currie Cup titles. Two of his brothers, Michael and Willie, also represented Western province and played test rugby for the Springboks, and all three the brothers in 1982 played in the one (winning) Currie Cup final against Northern Transvaal.
The three brothers played next to one another: Michael as flyhalf, Willie as left centre which was the norm in those days, and Carel on the left wing. This is unique in Currie Cup history. (The photo is that of WP Rugby Centenary 1883-1983)
Known as the Prince of Wings because of his wonderful balance and swerve that left many defenders in his wake, Carel’s career was limited to only 12 tests between 1982 and 1989 due to the boycott of internationals teams to play against South Africa due to the country’s Apartheid policy.
The younger Du Plessis brother Jacques also played provincial rugby for tie Eastern Province and also represented Western Province. Father Willie represented Eastern Province.