02/08/2013 11:07 EST | Updated 04/10/2013 05:12 EDT

Jan Ellis, Springbok flanker and great from 1965-76, dies from cancer at 71

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Rugby Union says former Springbok flanker Jan Ellis has died from cancer a month after his 71st birthday.

Ellis played 38 tests and all but one of South Africa's internationals from his debut in 1965 to his last test 11 years later.

A fast and rugged flanker, Ellis scored seven test tries and 32 tries in his 74 appearances for the Boks in all games. He made his debut at 22 against New Zealand in 1965 and didn't lose his starting place until he retired.

His final test appearance, a 16-7 victory over the All Blacks, equaled Frik du Preez's then-record for test caps for South Africa.

SARU president Oregan Hoskins says "Jan Ellis was one of the greatest Springbok loose forwards of any era."