Hayton Castens was educated at Rugby School in Warwickshire, where
the game of
rugby allegedly originated. He played both cricket and rugby and was
an outstanding sportsman. He was South Africa′s first rugby
captain, and also captain of the first South African cricket team
to tour overseas.
After completing his school career he studied Law at Oxford University.
In 1887 he obtained full rugby colours at Oxford. As a student he
represented Middlesex and the South of England on the rugby field.
his studies Castens returned to South Africa and started practising
in Cape Town.
Castens joined the Villagers Rugby Football Club, the second oldest rugby
club in South Africa, situated in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. He
was the first person to practise systematic coaching in South Africa with
teams from the Diocesan College in Newlands. In 1890 Castens represented
the Western Province cricket team at the fifth Champions Bat Tournament
in Cape Town as opening batsman and wicket keeper. On Christmas Day he scored
165 runs in a match against Eastern province.
In 1891 Castens achieved a few unique feats on the rugby filed against
the first ever British team to tour South Africa, captained by William
Castens was the referee for the touring team′s first match against
a combined team of Cape clubs. Two days later he was appointed manager
the Western province team.
When the team was announced for the first test at the Crusaders Cricket
Ground on 30 July 1891, Castens was appointed captain, giving him the distinction
of being the first played to lead the South African national rugby team.
He played in the front row in his one and only test match.
His involvement in the tour did not end there as he refereed no fewer than
six matches on the British itinerary: the first game against Cape Town Clubs
at Newlands, against Port Elizabeth Clubs and Eastern Province at Port Elizabeth,
against Cape Colony, and the third and final test at Newlands. He was also
referee in the unofficial final game of the tour when the tourists played
Stellenbosch, and played for Western Province and was appointed manager
of the Western province team.
Regarding his cricket career, he represented Western Province when the union
hosted the Champions bat Tournament at Newlands for the first time in December
1890/January 1891 (this was the forerunner to the Currie Cup Tournament).
As an opening batsman, he scored 165 of the total of 409 runs against the
Eastern Province. In addition, he was the Western Province wicket keeper.
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In 1894, the year the South African Cricket Association was founded,
he represented the Western Province at the fourth Currie Cup Cricket
at Newlands, Cape Town, scoring 61 runs against Natal. Shortly afterwards,
when the South African team to tour England was announced, Castens
captain. He thus had the honour and the distinction of captaining the
first South African international sides in both rugby and cricket.
the score of 58 runs against Surrey, Castens′batting on the tour
did not reach great heights. The South Africans played against a few
countries, but no tests were played during this tour. Of the 24 games
played, 12 were won, five lost and seven drawn. The highlight was winning
at Lords by beating an MCC team that included the legendary English
batsman, W.G. Grace. South Africa won this match dramatically by 11
Castens worked in the Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) government service for
- South African History Online