The place are they now: 2002 title-winning Junior Springboks (Backs)

Within the ninth a part of a collection, DYLAN JACK rewinds to the inaugural 2002 U21 World Championship and appears at what occurred to the title-winning Junior Springboks.

Jorrie Muller

The primary-choice fullback on the match, Muller began all 5 video games and scored 16 factors and on the time was thought to be one of many brightest abilities in a staff stuffed with future Springboks.

Muller, whose home profession included taking part in for the Lions and Lyon, can be thrust into Rudolph Straeuli’s Springboks the next 12 months as a 21-year-old, however he struggled on the Check scene and his profession by no means actually recovered.

After taking a step away from rugby, Muller focused on a mining building and trucking enterprise he began together with his father in 2000 and likewise served as Leopards assistant coach in 2012.

Odwa Ndungane

Ndungane performed only one sport for the SA U21 aspect (within the warm-up towards the SA Defence Power XV), scoring one attempt.

After beginning his profession with the Border Bulldogs and Vodacom Bulls, Ndungane joined the Sharks and would go on to play over 200 senior video games for the Durban aspect.

He retired in 2017 and, along with twin brother Akona, began the Ndungane Twins Basis, which goals to create alternatives for younger South Africans from deprived communities.

Clyde Rathbone

Captain of the U21 staff, Rathbone scored 4 tries within the match. He made his senior debut for the Sharks, however determined to affix his household in shifting to Australia on the finish of 2002, signing for the Brumbies.

He would go on to play 26 Check matches for the Wallabies, however finally accidents pressured him into retirement.

Since retiring, Rathbone has co-founded Letter, a platform for public, written dialog and debate, which goals to advance the standard and impression of dialog.

Jean de Villiers

A future Springbok and Stormers captain, De Villiers performed three video games at outdoors centre and two on the wing on the U21 match, scoring 5 tries.

His home profession included over 100 video games for the Stormers and 23 video games for Munster, whereas he performed 109 Assessments for the Springboks, captaining the staff between 2012 and 2015. After a brief stint with the Leicester Tigers, De Villiers retired from all rugby in 2016.

De Villiers has since taken up a job as a pundit and commentator on SuperSport and is the top of philanthropy at Citadel Funding Companies. He additionally does charity work for the Chris Burger/Petro Jackson Gamers Fund.

Dewey Swartbooi

Swartbooi performed at wing and centre for the Junior Springboks. He began his skilled taking part in profession with the Bulls in 2002 earlier than taking part in for the Cats, Lions and Boland Cavaliers.

After retiring, Swartbooi began his teaching profession with Boland, earlier than he joined the Bulls as a youth coach in 2015. He at present serves as head coach on the College of Johannesburg, a job he has held since 2019.

Tshepo Kokoali

Kokoali got here off the bench twice in the course of the U21 match, kicking two conversions and a penalty. The flyhalf’s home profession included taking part in for the Lions, Cheetahs and Sharks, earlier than he moved to France with USB.

In 2009, Kokoali retired from rugby and began his post-rugby profession as an occasions supervisor for SABMiller. He at present works as a undertaking supervisor for Group Africa Advertising and marketing.

Ricky Januarie

One in every of two future Springbok scrumhalves within the 2002 squad, Januarie began all 5 video games forward of Fourie du Preez, who would usurp him at senior Check stage.

The nippy scrumhalf began his home profession with Boland, earlier than taking part in for the Lions and the Stormers. He additionally had stints abroad with the Ospreys, Lyon and La Rochelle.

Januarie retired from worldwide rugby in 2011, having performed 47 Assessments, successful a World Cup, British & Irish Lions collection and a Tri-Nations.

Fourie du Preez

Du Preez was used off the bench in 2002, however would go on to develop into one in all South Africa’s greatest-ever gamers, taking part in over 100 video games for the Bulls and 76 Assessments for the Springboks.

Throughout his home profession, Du Preez received three Currie Cup and Tremendous Rugby titles, whereas he additionally received three titles in Japan with Suntory Sungoliath. On the Check scene, Du Preez received a World Cup and two Tri-Nations titles, together with his last look for the Springboks on the 2015 World Cup.

Du Preez retired from all rugby in 2016 and has since invested in a small private-equity firm known as Fledge Capital and most lately has labored as a scrumhalf guide with the Bulls.

Francois ‘Swys’ Swart

A flyhalf with a lethal correct boot, Swart began all 5 video games on the match and scored a complete of 118 factors, together with 20 conversions, 24 penalties and two drop objectives. He memorably kicked a penalty in further time of the semi-final towards New Zealand, getting the staff via to the ultimate towards Australia.

Sadly, Swart handed away in a automotive accident in 2004. On the time, he was contracted with the Bulls and was a part of the staff’s Currie Cup-winning staff.

His alma mater, Affies, had since began an U15 week in his honour, whereas his household established the Francois Swys Swart Fund for Needy Rugby Gamers.

JP Nel

Nel, who served as a backup to Rathbone and De Villiers in 2002, would make his first-class debut for Western Province earlier than shifting to the Bulls.

It was in Pretoria that Nel made his identify as a tough-tackling centre, as he remodeled 100 mixed appearances for the Bulls.

After stints with the Shining Arcs and Griquas, Nel retired in 2013.  He at present serves as a head coach of Russian staff Strela.

Ashwin Willemse

After successful the U21 World Cup, Willemse began his skilled profession with the Cats and shortly made his Springbok debut in 2003, and his type was rewarded with awards for Saru Participant of the Yr, Most Promising Participant of the Yr and Gamers’ Participant of the Yr.

Willemse was included in Jake White’s 2007 World Cup-winning squad and thereafter moved to France with Biarritz. 

After retiring, Willemse served as a commentator and analyst on SuperSport and has additionally launched the GreenSmile Basis in 2012, which seems to create higher alternatives for kids from socio-economic hardships.

Photograph: Tertius Pickard/Touchline Photograph/Gallo Pictures

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