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Bennie Osler
Bennie Osler.jpg
Personal information
Full name Benjamin Louwrens Osler
Date of birth 1901-11-23
Place of birth Aliwal North, South Africa
Date of death 1962-04-28
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Weight 70 kg (150 lb)
School Kingswood College, Grahamstown
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Fly-half
Clubs played for
Years Club / team Caps Points
Provincial/State sides
Western Province
correct as of 2007-11-29.
National team(s)
1924–1933 South Africa 17 (46)
correct as of 2007-11-29.

Benjamin Louwrens Osler (23 November 1901 – 28 April 1962) was a rugby union footballer who played internationally for South Africa. Osler played mainly at fly-half for both South Africa, and his provincial team of Western Province.

Osler was born at Aliwal North. He was first selected to play on 16 August 1924 against Britain when they toured South Africa. This was the first of his 17 consecutive Test appearances for South Africa.[1] Osler played in the other three Tests of Britain's tour, and contributed to South Africa winning three of the four Tests.[2] The only Test of the series the Springboks did not win was their 3–3 draw in Port Elizabeth where Osler was temporarily knocked out.[3]

The next Springbok (as the South African team is known) series was hosting New Zealand's All Blacks in 1928. The teams had met once before in a Test series, drawn 1–1 (with 1 match drawn) in New Zealand in 1921. The first Test was played in Durban and the Springboks won 17–0, with Osler scoring a world record 14 points in the match.[4] Osler played in the remaining three Tests and the series was eventually drawn 2–2; just like in 1921.

Osler's first overseas tour was in 1931 when he captained the Springboks on their 1931-32 tour to the Home Nations. He captained the team and played in all four Tests; playing against England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Osler's Springboks became the second South African team, and only second of all time, to win a Grand Slam—a win over all four Home Nations on one tour. The tour continued into 1932 and the team eventually played 26 matches, with only one loss.[1]

In 1933 Osler played in his last ever Test series when Australia toured South Africa. They played a five match series and Osler played in all five Tests. During the series he scored a try, conversion and drop-goal.

Osler is remembered as a fly-half who played a kicking game; that is, he would often kick for territory rather than run with the ball, or pass to his backs. His accuracy when kicking allowed South African teams he was in to play a forward oriented game, commonly referred to as ten-man rugby.[5] His contributions to international rugby were acknowledged with his induction into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 2007[1] and the IRB Hall of Fame in 2009.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "Bennie Osler". Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  2. ^ "Bennie Osler". Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  3. ^ "1924 British Rugby Tour of South Africa - Third Test". Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  4. ^ Martin, Peter. "Springboks chanted own haka–in 1928". Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  5. ^ Ten man rugby refers to the eight forward, scrum-half and fly-half.
  6. ^ International Rugby Board (2009-10-27). "IRB Hall of Fame: The 2009 Induction" (PDF). Press release. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 

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