Bobby Skinstad recounts Henry Honiball tackle that put him in hospital

Bobby Skinstad recounts Henry Honiball tackle that put him in hospital

Former Springbok captain Bobby Skinstad revealed who he thinks is the hardest man in Springbok rugby.

Skinstad spent the better part of a decade in the Springbok camp, winning the 2007 Rugby World Cup with his captain John Smith and coach Jake White. On his journey, he was exposed to one of the greatest generations to play in the green and gold.

While there are hard men aplenty that have run out for the four-time World Champions over the years, Skinstad's top choice would surprise many.

While he paid tribute to perennial Bok enforcer Bakkies Botha, Skinstad told the Eventful Lives Podcast with Dodge Woodall that Henry Honiball was the man who left his mark, literally. 

"There are always stories about Bakkies Botha because he was just a big beast of a man and I love him because he lived that persona as well," Skinstad told Woodall, the founder of the famed Bournemouth 7s Festival.

"I wouldn't say he is a softie off the field but he did enjoy the physical side of it. He would always look for opportunities to hurt someone and then enjoy it afterwards and tell you about it and it would be a fun thing.

"But the hardest man I ever played with or against was a guy called Henry Honiball, who was an Afrikaans guy who played flyhalf for the Sharks and South Africa and his nickname was 'Lem' which is Afrikaans for blade which I didn't do the maths on.

"I did a pick-and-go playing for Western Province and I thought, 'Okay there is the 10, that's easy. I have got past the flank. I'll just drop a shoulder on him and we will either get an offload or we get momentum in attack as long as I got over the advantage line'.

"I dropped my shoulder and he came in to hit between your elbow and your shoulder. I thought, 'Okay, I got that'. Dropped the shoulder and ended up in the Claremont general hospital from a shoulder-level tackle from a flyhalf."

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