DHL Stormers legend: Andries Bekker

PUBLISHED: February 7, 2024

A DHL Stormers centurion, Andries Bekker literally reached the greatest heights

At 2.08m, Andries Bekker is the tallest man ever to represent the Springboks and he leveraged that unique physical advantage in operating the DHL Stormers line-out between 2005 and 2013.

Bekker made his 100th Super Rugby appearance in a game against the Toyota Cheetahs in 2013 and bid farewell to Cape Town at the end of that season to join the Kobelco Steelers in Japan.

During that time, Bekker was the primary target in a DHL Stormers line-out that served as the launch pad for the team that contested the Super Rugby playoffs successively between 2010 and 2012, reaching the final in 2010.

Vertically gifted, Bekker also added horizontal value to the DHL Stormers’ attack, famously roaming in the trams where the Cape franchise attempted to find him with the ball and create the physical mismatch of a two-metre lock running at diminutive outside backs.

He was especially talented in this role as his skill and athleticism defied the lumbering movements associated with long-limbed runners.

Bekker’s tactical value was recognised by the Springbok selectors, who called him up in 2008 to debut against Wales in Bloemfontein.

The lofty lock played 29 Tests, bowing out of the Test arena in a 32-16 reverse against the All Blacks at FNB Stadium in 2012.

‘Andries is the real deal,’ Victor Matfield said when rating his greatest line-out opponent in the build-up to the 2011 World Cup. ‘He’s an exceptional player. It’s true that I didn’t show him all the tricks of the trade – I didn’t want him to embarrass an old man when we played against each other.’

Bekker’s Test career bridged that of Matfield in his prime and the emergence of DHL Stormers legend and future Bok centurion, Eben Etzebeth.

Andries Bekker by the numbers

104 – The number of matches he played for the DHL
Stormers from 2005 to 2013

15 – The number of tries he scored for the DHL Stormers