SA Rugby president, Mr Mark Alexander, extended his condolences to the family of Mr Van Wyk and said that not only the Northern Cape rugby community, but also the wider rugby fraternity lost a stalwart.

"Piet loved the game of rugby and it was no surprise that he excelled as coach and administrator after he retired as a player who represented SARU, Griquas, North Western Cape and his beloved club, Thistles – an involvement in the game that improved the lives of many in his community," Mr Alexander said.

Van Wyk represented North Western Cape and later Griquas in the 1960s until 1976. He also played for the national team in the guise of the South African Coloured Rugby Board in 1963 and 1965, and captained the SA Rugby Union (SARU) B-side in 1973.

After his playing days, Van Wyk, a police officer, stayed involved with the game as a selector and a coach and earned wide respect for his contributions to non-racial rugby.

"We wish his wife, Martha, his children, grandchildren, other family members and friends strength and love in this time of bereavement," Mr Alexander said.

Van Wyk will be buried in Kimberley on Saturday, 16 May.