DHL Stormers legend: Neil de Kock

PUBLISHED: March 18, 2024

A born and bred Capetonian, scrumhalf Neil de Kock rose through the provincial ranks to captain the DHL Stormers.

Schooled at Settlers High in Bellville before wearing the famous maroon jersey of Maties, De Kock enjoyed an illustrious career that spanned 18 seasons.

Starting out in the northern Free State with the Griffons in 1999 – after a knee injury marred his final year of schools rugby – De Kock returned to Cape Town in 2000 when he made his debut for DHL Western Province and went on to win back-to-back Currie Cups in 2000 and 2001.

De Kock made his Super Rugby bow in 2001 after standout performances as an impact player, and his performances for the DHL Stormers promoted him to the Test arena where he earned the first of 10 Springbok caps, including appearances at the 2003 Rugby World Cup.

The thinking man’s scrumhalf, De Kock wielded an astute kicking game that made him the perfect foil to livewire Bolla Conradie, the two sharing the halfback responsibilities for the DHL Stormers.

De Kock made 52 appearances for DHL WP and 50 outings for the DHL Stormers, succeeding Corne Krige as captain in 2005. A move north beckoned and after a final season with the DHL Stormers in 2006, he joined Saracens.

De Kock was integral in helping the Gallagher Premiership club establish themselves as one of Europe’s elite sides, winning three league titles to go with a first Investec Champions Cup.

He retired in 2017 after more than 300 professional appearances home and abroad, and has returned to the Western Cape to serve as CEO at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport.

De Kock’s DHL Stormers numbers

50 – The number of matches he played for the DHL Stormers from 2001 to 2006

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