Jannie du Plessis

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Jannie du Plessis
Jannie du Plessis 2007.jpg
South Africa vs Fiji during 2007 Rugby World Cup
Full name Jan Nathaniël du Plessis
Date of birth (1982-11-16) 16 November 1982 (age 31)
Place of birth Bethlehem, Free State, South Africa
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 121 kg (267 lb; 19 st 1 lb)
School Grey College
University University of the Free State
Notable relative(s) Bismarck du Plessis (brother)
Tabbie du Plessis (brother)
Occupation(s) Doctor, professional rugby union player
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Prop
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2003–07
2008–
Free State Cheetahs
Natal Sharks
69
35
(15)
(15)
correct as of 26 October 2013.
Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2006–07
2008–
Cheetahs
Sharks
26
105
(0)
(0)
correct as of 19 July 2014.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2007– South Africa 54 (5)
correct as of 28 June 2014.

Dr. Jan Nathaniel "Jannie" du Plessis (born 16 November 1982 in Bethlehem, Free State) is a South African rugby union player, who plays as a prop for South Africa and the Sharks in Super Rugby.[1] Previously, he played for the Vodacom Cheetahs in Super 14 and the Free State Cheetahs in the domestic Currie Cup.

Personal and early life[edit]

Du Plessis showed promise as a rugby player early, being named as captain of the Eastern Free State age-group team at Craven Week in 1995.[2] While he continued to advance in rugby, playing for Free State representative teams at under-18 and under-19 level, he never represented South Africa at junior level.

He studied medicine at the University of the Free State[2] and became a qualified doctor, making him one of the few players in the professional era of rugby union to have a career outside of the sport while playing professionally.[3]

Rugby career[edit]

He eventually made the senior Free State Cheetahs side in 2003, and continued playing for the Cheetahs through the 2007 Currie Cup.[4] Du Plessis was also named to a South African squad that faced a World XV at Ellis Park in 2006.[5]

Du Plessis made his Super 14 debut in 2006 for the Vodacom Cheetahs.[4] His 2007 Super 14 campaign was hampered by an ankle injury.[3] After recovering, he was selected for the Springboks squad for the first time during the 2007 Tri Nations, making his debut in the starting XV on 7 July against Australia during the Boks' home leg.[1] The match was significant for him in another way, as his younger brother Bismarck made his Boks debut as a substitute in the same match while he was still on the field.[1] This made the Du Plessis brothers the 23rd set of brothers to earn Springboks caps.[5]

Neither Jannie nor Bismarck was named to the Springboks' original squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup, but both eventually joined the squad. Jannie was called up to replace BJ Botha after Botha blew out a knee against the USA in the Boks' final pool match.[3] He received the call notifying him of his selection from Springboks selection panel member Peter Jooste early in the morning of 1 October, shortly after finishing an all-night shift at a Bloemfontein hospital on the evening of 30 September, during which he performed a Caesarean section. When interviewed after his selection, he said that his first sleep since 29 September was "an hour or so on the plane from Bloemfontein to Cape Town", where he travelled to do his required paperwork before joining the Boks in France.[3] On 7 October, he was starting for the Boks in their quarterfinal against Fiji, after CJ van der Linde was ruled out with a knee injury.[6]

A week after the Boks' victory over England in the Rugby World Cup final, Du Plessis was in the squad for another final — the 2007 Currie Cup final, in which the Cheetahs defeated the Golden Lions 20–18.[7] Because of his late call-up to the World Cup squad, he was the only member of the World Cup winners to play in enough Currie Cup matches to qualify for the final (at least four are required). Du Plessis joined three members of the 1995 Rugby World Cup winners as the only players to earn World Cup and Currie Cup winners' medals in the same year.[8]

Du Plessis would receive an unexpected opportunity to use his medical skills in the wake of a 2009 tragedy. In the early morning hours of 29 March, Brumbies lock Shawn Mackay was hit by a car outside a Durban nightclub, suffering a paralysing injury. Du Plessis was at the scene because he was helping Brumbies players get back to their hotel after their match with the Sharks; he helped Mackay breathe and contacted emergency services, who stabilised him and rushed him to a hospital.[9] However, despite all medical efforts, Mackay would die from complications of his injuries several days later.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sharks swoop for Du Plessis Snr". Planet-Rugby.com. 2007-08-08. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  2. ^ a b "Profiles: Jan Nathaniel du Plessis". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 2007-10-01. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d de Koning, Jan (2007-10-01). "Planes, Trains and Bloem babies". Planet-Rugby.com. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  4. ^ a b "Squads: Jan Nathaniel du Plessis". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 2007-10-01. [dead link]
  5. ^ a b "Bonus for Du Plessis brothers". iAfrica.com. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  6. ^ "UPDATE: South Africa team for RSA v FJI". Rugby World Cup. 2007-10-05. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-10-08. 
  7. ^ "Cheetahs edge Lions in Bloem thriller". Planet-Rugby.com. 2007-10-27. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  8. ^ "Jannie could set new milestone". Planet-Rugby.com. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  9. ^ Lewis, Craig, The Star (Johannesburg) (2009-03-31). "Medics who helped Mackay praised". Independent Online. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 

External links[edit]