A shared love of sports
Twins not just in looks but in cricket and rugby too
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.