DHL Stormers legend: Jean de Villiers

PUBLISHED: March 4, 2024

Jean de Villiers was a world-class midfielder who played a leading role for the DHL Stormers.

Born and bred in the Western Cape, former Springbok captain De Villiers was a true DHL Stormers hero.

Following in the footsteps of his father, who represented DHL Western Province in the 1970s, De Villiers wasted no time getting stuck in for the union, donning the blue and white hoops for the first time as an U13 Craven Week player.

In the South African context, De Villiers was a one-club man, captaining DHL WP and the DHL Stormers, departing Cape Town twice to turn out for Munster in 2009 and Leicester in 2015.

He debuted for DHL Western Province in the 2001 Vodacom
Cup and represented the province for the last time 50 appearances later in the 2013 Currie Cup final. His DHL Stormers career launched against the Hollywoodbets Sharks in 2005 and ended in 2014 on his 105th appearance, against the Hurricanes.

An intercept specialist with speed that belied his large frame, De Villiers crossed the whitewash 28 times for the DHL Stormers and 30 times for DHL WP.

The Test centurion, who captained the Springboks 37 times, exuded confidence and composure, traits that made him a natural leader, while his affable demeanour and sharp wit primed him for on-field engagement with referees.

But it was not only in leadership that De Villiers shone in the green and gold, he was just as lethal a playmaker and finisher in the Test arena as he was for the DHL Stormers and DHL WP. De Villiers scored 27 tries for South Africa and won the 2008 SA Rugby Player of the Year award en route to retiring as the most capped centre in Springbok history.

De Villiers’ DHL Stormers numbers:

105 – The number of matches he played for the DHL Stormers from 2005 to 2014

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