DHL Stormers legend: Chris van Zyl

PUBLISHED: June 3, 2024

A hard-working lock who provided a calm head on the field, Chris van Zyl was a humble and selfless player for the DHL Stormers.

Widely respected by his peers as much for his willingness to put the team first as his passion for the union, Van Zyl made a huge impact on DHL Western Province Rugby with his overall contributions.

The experienced second-row forward earned 42 caps for the DHL Stormers between 2016 and 2020, as well as making 72 appearances for DHL Western Province.

Van Zyl’s connection with Western Province rugby runs deep, with his grandfather Boon Wallace, father Mike and brother Anton all having worn the blue and white hoops of DHL WP before him.

His parents have been season ticket-holders for most of his life and Van Zyl grew up as a staunch supporter, serving as a ballboy at Newlands and watching his heroes from the stands.

Van Zyl’s path to professional rugby was unconventional in the modern era and serves as an example to those who are not identified for higher honours at a young age.

The Rondebosch Boys’ High alum attained an accounting degree at the University of Stellenbosch and represented FNB Maties, before going to Johannesburg to do his articles and qualify as a chartered accountant.

Van Zyl returned to Cape Town in 2015 and got his first opportunity to represent DHL WP in 2016, leading the team to 13 wins from 14 games in the Currie Cup qualifying campaign under Director of Rugby John Dobson.

The following year Van Zyl lifted the Currie Cup in Durban as DHL WP claimed a record 34th title.

Van Zyl decided to call time on his career as a professional player in 2021 to explore new opportunities, and is currently head of Equites Property Fund Limited in Gauteng.

Van Zyl’s DHL Stormers numbers

42 – The number of matches he played for the DHL Stormers from 2016 to 2020

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