|Full name||Pierre Johan Spies|
|Date of birth||8 June 1985|
|Place of birth||Pretoria, South Africa|
|Height||1.94 m (6 ft 4 1⁄2 in)|
|Weight||111 kg (17 st 7 lb; 245 lb)|
|School||Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool|
|University||University of Pretoria|
|Rugby union career|
Pierre Johan Spies (born 8 June 1985 in Pretoria) is a retired South African rugby union player. He usually plays as a Number 8, but can also play as a flank. Between 2005 and 2015, he spent the majority of his career playing Super Rugby for the Bulls and domestic South African rugby for the Blue Bulls. He also represented South Africa between 2006 and 2013.
Spies was born on 8 June 1985 in Pretoria and attended Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (Afrikaans High School for Boys, also known as Affies), a public school located in Pretoria. He attended alongside future Springbok teammates Fourie du Preez and Wynand Olivier, professional rugby players Derick Kuün, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, Gerhard van den Heever, Adriaan Fondse and cricketers AB de Villiers, Heino Kuhn and Faf du Plessis. After school, he completed his first year in B.Sc. Construction Management at the University of Pretoria.
He made his first class debut for the Blue Bulls in 2005 in a match against Griquas. He made his Super 12 debut against the Brumbies, becoming the youngest player ever to represent the Bulls. However, he picked up an injury in this match and reverted to the Blue Bulls U21 side, where he scored nine tries in six games in the 2005 Under-21 Provincial Championship.
After representing the South African Under-21 side at the 2006 Under 21 Rugby World Championship in France, Spies made his Springbok debut their 49–0 defeat at the hands of Australia in the 2006 Tri Nations Series. He was retained for the home leg of the tournament and turned in two "Man-of-the-Match" performances, in their wins over the New Zealand in Rustenburg and Australia in Durban.
He was injured in a match against Ireland on the Springboks' end of year tour, which ruled him out for the rest of the tour, as well as much of the 2007 Super 14 season, but he did make his comeback for the Bulls in their 49–12 victory over southern rivals the Stormers.
On 21 July 2007, Spies was selected was in Jake White's Springbok squad for the 2007 Rugby World Cup to be played in France in September, but was forced to withdraw from the squad nine days later after blood clots were found in his lungs. After getting a second opinion, it was stated that Spies could return to the World Cup squad if a third opinion was positive. However, the third diagnosis confirmed the original one and Spies withdrew from the squad. He returned to the Springboks' team for the 2008 June internationals against Wales.
In domestic rugby, he was nominated for the 2008 Currie Cup Player of the Year, South African Player of the Year, International Player of the Year and won the award for South Africa's Most Promising Player of the Year and Sportsman of the Year.
In 2009, his performances in the Super 14 earned him a selection for the Springboks to play against the British & Irish Lions during their tour to South Africa. He was also selected for South Africa's end-of-year tour, but injured his finger and was ruled out.
As of 2009, Spies could power clean 135 kg, dead-lift 240 kg, bench-press 165 kg and do pull-ups with a 50 kg weight between his legs. He could jump 1.4m onto a raised platform and had a body-fat percentage of 6.5.
Notes and references
- "Pierre Spies – The Official Page". Pierre Spies. Archived from the original on 24 June 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
- Flint, Liam (16 November 2016). "Springboks and Montpellier rugby star, Pierre Spies: "God radically changed my life"". Cross The Line. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
- "Springbok Spies to miss World Cup". BBC. 30 July 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2007.
- "SA Rugby Statement on Pierre Spies". South African Rugby Union. 14 August 2007. Archived from the original on 26 September 2007. Retrieved 14 August 2007.
- "Spies's cognitive evolution". Keo. 15 May 2009. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 24 May 2009.
- "SA Rugby Player Profile – Pierre Spies". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- Pierre Spies on sarugby.com
- Pierre Spies Super 14 Stats
- Pierre Spies Tri-Nations Stats
- Pierre Spies on bluebulls.co.za
- Pierre Spies to debut for the Bulls
- Pierre Spies personal website
- itsrugby.co.uk profile