DHL Stormers legend: De Wet Barry

PUBLISHED: March 11, 2024

The hard-hitting De Wet Barry was a powerful force in midfield and respected leader for the DHL Stormers.

When the inside centre made a tackle, his opponents knew that they would be in for a long day, as his strength and aggressive defensive style was key to the DHL Stormers’ success.

Barry began his career with DHL Western Province in 1997 before making his DHL Stormers debut two years later. He made more than 150 appearances for both teams, with Currie Cup title wins in 2000 and 2001.

Former DHL Stormers boss Gert Smal, who named Barry captain in 2006, hailed the Paarl Gimnasium alum as one of the hard men of South African rugby.

“De Wet had the characteristics that Corne Krige had, a never-say-die attitude, and always led from the front,” he said.

Barry was an elite exponent of the rush defence, putting the heat on teams that favoured a spread attack by charging up to force them into making mistakes.

On attack, the abrasive midfielder could unleash the likes of Breyton Paulse and Tonderai Chavhanga with a deft pass or offload just as easily as breaking a tackle or exploiting a half-gap.

In the early-to-mid 2000s, the 39-capped Barry and Marius Joubert started 18 Tests as a centre pairing for the Springboks, and were part of the national side that won the Tri-Nations in 2004.

The pair had excellent synergy, honed from playing together at Super Rugby level for the DHL Stormers and DHL WP in the Currie Cup.

In 2007, Barry signed with Gallagher Premiership club Harlequins for two seasons before returning to South Africa to join the Eastern Province Kings until his retirement in 2012. He took a coaching role at the union, a position he held until late 2013.

Barry’s DHL Stormers numbers:

78 – The number of matches he played for the DHL Stormers from 1999 to 2007

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