In 1982 Hennie Shields became the first “coloured” player to play Currycup rugby for Western Province but he never received official recognition.
Hennie also played for the Proteas against the British Lions and he played for the first combined South African team that played overseas. Although he was chosen to attend Springbok trial, he was never chosen.
The Shields rugby family
The Shields family from the Strand in the Western Cape needs no introduction in rugby circles.
The family of six brothers were all avid rugby players and it was the youngest brother, Hennie who reached local and international heights.
In 1977 players of colour were invited to national rugby trials in Pretoria, for the first time. The trials were held to select a Springbok team to play against a World XV.
Players included were Errol Tobias, Piet Boonzaaier, Hennie and Turkey Shields, Hannes Meye and Louis Paulse.
None of these players made the Springbok team but Hennie Shields was chosen for the Gazelles and Errol Tobias as well as Turkey Shields for the Countryside XV.
Shields also played for Barbarian teams overseas and was the first coloured player to play Currycup rugby for Western Province,
The only team he never played for which is a shame, was the Springboks.
Hennie lives in the Strand, just outside of Cape Town and is not involved with rugby.
This story was from Afrikaans radio station RSG: – Hennie Shields, ons verlore Springbok
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