Cobus Reinach – Like Father Like Son

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If Cobus Reinach makes his Springbok debut off the bench in The Rugby Championship Match against Australia in Cape Town, he will be Springbok number 864 and would have followed in the footsteps of his father Jaco.


Jaco Reinach was Springbok number 542 and played four unofficial Tests against the New Zealand Cavaliers, scoring 2 tries, one of which holds a special place in Springbok rugby folklore having outpaced them with blistering pace from 60 meters out. There was no exaggeration of the pace Jaco possessed. He held the national 400m athletics title, in a very respectable 44.8 seconds for the early 1980’s and held South African colours in both sports. He died tragically in a motor car accident on the  21st of January 1997, when Cobus was only 6 years old. For most South African rugby fans, Cobus’ debut would be a very poignant moment as they witness a young man achieve the same national honours which the father he can probably barely remember did.


As a matter of interest the father and son Springbok combination of Jaco and Cobus Reinach would be the 12th instance of this happening. The last instance of this happening was the rather large frame of the 133kg prop forward Springbok number 526 and his trimmer but taller son, Springbok number 818, Flip van der Merwe. One family also has the honour of a father and son both captaining the Springbok side, being Morne and Felix du Plessis.


Do the Springboks have the possibility of more father and son combinations in the near future? They most certainly do… Guy Kebble, Springbok number 599 , has as son Ollie starting to make his way through the Western Province and Stormers ranks and played for the Junior Springboks, so that is one we cannot discount. Johan Ackerman, Springbok number 632, is the oldest man ever to play for the Springboks at the age of 37. His son Ruan is making very steady progress through the Golden Lions age group teams and is seen as a hot prospect.

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