Carel du PlessisCarel du Plessis


Carel Johan du Plessis, born on June 24, 1960, in Somerset East, Eastern Cape, is a former South African rugby union player and coach. Educated at Paarl Boys High and Stellenbosch University, du Plessis was destined for rugby greatness. His commanding presence on the field, combined with his suave playing style, earned him the endearing nickname, the “Prince of Wings”.

Teams and Years:

  • Western Province (1980–1986, 1988–1989): Du Plessis’s performance here laid the foundation for his legendary status.
  • Transvaal (1987): A brief yet impactful stint with the team.
  • Springboks (1982–1989): Du Plessis donned the national colors in 12 test matches, scoring 4 tries despite the international sports boycotts during apartheid.

International Caps:

His international career highlights include memorable matches against formidable teams such as the South American Jaguars, England, the New Zealand Cavaliers, and a World XV team, where his try-scoring prowess was on full display.

Key Moments in Sporting Life:

  • Memorable Tries: Du Plessis’s record includes scoring on his debut against the South American Jaguars and against England in 1984.
  • Tri-Nations and Tours: His coaching career post-retirement included leading the Springboks through challenging series and tournaments.

Personal Life:

Carel is part of a rugby dynasty with his brothers, Michael and Willie, also former Springboks, and his son, Jean-Luc du Plessis, continuing the legacy with the Stormers. His life has been marked by resilience as he has undergone major surgeries following a brain tumor diagnosis.

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