Former Springboks scrum-half, skipper and coach Cornelius “Nelie” Smith died on Monday in Cape Town of heart failure aged 81, the South African rugby body said.
He won seven caps between 1963 and 1965 against Australia, France and New Zealand, scoring a try and kicking three penalties.
Four of the Test appearances were as captain, having succeeded Abie Malan.
— South African Rugby (@Springboks) May 2, 2016
Smith coached the Springboks between 1980 and 1981, winning 12 of 15 Tests, and served as a national team selector for a decade.
He also took his coaching skills abroad to guide Ballymena in Ireland and Rovigo in Italy.
“Nelie was one of the best,” said South African Rugby president Oregan Hoskins. “It is only a select few who play for, captain and coach the Springboks.
“His rugby knowledge was massive and touched the lives of thousands of players over the many years he coached.
“His approach to basics like fitness and handling was well-known and many players will remember his driving maul techniques with a smile today.”