A shared love of sports

Twins not just in looks but in cricket and rugby too

Talk of the Town - - News -

when they got older that they were se­lected for the A teams for both rugby and cricket.

Iron­i­cally, it was in cricket that the twins made their first real im­pact on the sports field.

In his Grade 9 year, Ge­orge was ca­su­ally bowl­ing leg spin­ners in the nets when he was spot­ted by the school’s then gym­nas­tics and both rep­re­sented Queen’s in an East­ern Cape in­ter-schools com­pe­ti­tion at Rhodes Univer­sity in Gra­ham­stown in 1955, when Ro­ley fin­ished se­cond over­all.

The fol­low­ing year, Ge­orge won this com­pe­ti­tion and made Queen’s Col­lege his­tory when he be­came the first boy to be awarded his colours for this sport.

But it was on the rugby field that the twins re­ally made their mark as they both played in the school’s first team, Ro­ley as a scrumhalf and Ge­orge as a fly­half and cen­tre.

Ro­ley also rep­re­sented Bor­der schools in his last year.

Though al­ways the small­est on the field, the twins over­came this by be­ing nim­ble and coura­geous.

It did not take rugby fans in Queen­stown and the Bor­der long to re­alise that these two young­sters had a spe­cial tal­ent and they filled the stands when play­ing at home.

While play­ing for Queen’s, they were coached by the leg­endary Dummy Tay­lor, who was well-known in schools’ rugby cir­cles. Ro­ley said: “He was the best coach we played un­der.”

Af­ter leav­ing school, both played for the Swifts Rugby Union (the govern­ing body for rugby in the area) and Bor­der U19 teams.

It was, in fact, dur­ing this year that Ro­ley, at the ten­der age of 18, was in­cluded in the Bor­der se­nior side.

“I was too young to be al­lowed to at­tend the af­ter-match func­tion, though the pow­ers that be turned a blind eye,” he smiled.

This did, how­ever, prove to be a mis­take and he was dropped af­ter three games be­cause of his age.

But the broth­ers soon es­tab­lished them­selves in both the Swifts and Bor­der sides and went on to rep­re­sent them for five and four years re­spec­tively.

Ro­ley ex­plained that, though Bor­der did not play in the Cur­rie Cup as such, they held their own when they played matches against these sides.

In the team when they were first se­lected for Bor­der was the well-known Spring­bok cen­tre at the time, Pee Wee Howe, and, of course Bull Ed­wards, who was rated one of SA’s top props.

He also hailed from Queen­stown and went on to be­come a Ju­nior Spring­bok.

Ro­ley ex­plained that it was tough play­ing pro­vin­cial rugby in those days.

They had to travel from Queen­stown to East Lon­don on a Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon for prac­tices and re­turn the same evening.

Then re­turn on the Fri­day for the match on the Satur­day.

There were, of course, many high­lights dur­ing their ca­reers.

Ge­orge and his wife, Jenny, have re­tired to Riet River and the cou­ple have a son and two grand­chil­dren.

Ro­ley and wife Adri­enne have set­tled in Port Al­fred and have two chil­dren with four grand­chil­dren.

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