Baart, who played for the erstwhile South African Rugby Association (SARA) between 1982 and 1987 after making a name for himself in the club leagues before earning provincial colours for Eastern Province and Western Transvaal, passed away last month.

Njadu, a skillful flyhalf and fullback who had a long career – from his teenage years until he was in his late 30s – for the Gompo Rugby Union and provincially in the colours of Border, also represented SARA (the African Leopards) in the 1970s, and sadly passed away last week, aged 72.

Suter, who was a star loose forward for Durban Collegians and Natal before he earned Springbok selection in two Tests in 1965, against Ireland and Scotland, passed away a few days ago at the age of 83.

“We would like to honour these three gentlemen, all of whom reached the highest rung of the rugby ladder in South Africa, for their contributions to the game,” said Mr Alexander.

“Mncedi and Dennis followed a different path to ‘Snowy’, which is part of our diverse rugby history, but nothing should ever detract from their achievements as players, at club, provincial and ultimately national levels.

“Our rugby history is not straight-forward and when you look back at the careers of men such as Mncedi, Dennis and ‘Snowy’, it's important to remember where we came from, but also to know that they played a role in where we are, and where we are going as a sport in South Africa.

“Men like these three kept the rugby flame burning in a difficult time in our country's history, but they always gave their best and were deserving of receiving their national colours.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with their families, loved ones and friends in this difficult time, but we know you will find solace in the great memories of these three rugby heroes.”