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RIP Patsa Matyeshana (Border & SAARB Leopards)
April 18, 2013
Patsa Matyeshana represented the Border Rugby Union in interprovincial competitions of the former South African African Rugby Board (SAARB).

He passed away this week.

Described by contemporary newspaper, Imvo Zabantsundu as a most talented player and a hardworking flanker, he soon attracted the attention of the national selectors for his defensive abilities and was selected to play for the Leopards in the historic first test of a representative Black team against the touring Italian side in 1973.

In the preceding interprovincial tournament, which served as trials, he had to show his mettle against equally capable loose-forwards such as Liston Ntshongwana and Stambo Cushe who was regarded as the trendsetters of the time.

After an understandably nervous debut, he establish a solid defensive partnership with Number 8 Vusumzi Nakani and fellow loose-forward Morgan Cushe in subsequent tests.

Given the vast pool of talent available for the Leopards, young Patsa had to work hard to maintain his position to ward off the onslaught from his more experienced counterparts.

In the end he represented the SAARB in a total of seven test matches which included three games against international opposition (Italy, 1974 & British Lions, 1974) and four games against the Proteas of the South African Rugby Football Federation (SARFF) in the hard-fought inter-racial test series of the time.

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