Yesterday it was confirmed that Western Province and Stormers rugby star, Juan de Jongh, have signed up with the Wasps, one of England’s top rugby union teams. After the announcement, the 29 year old Juan expressed gratitude towards the team’s loyal fans for their passionate support and stated that it had been a privilege to play at Newlands.
Juan says that he is excited about the new challenges that playing for a new club will present and he hopes to learn from the new experience to improve his game. He also hopes to add some of his own experience and energy to the club.
Juan started his career at the Boland Cavaliers in 2006, made his Western Province under-19 debut in 2007 and he also represented Stellenbosch University at the Varsity Cup in 2008. He made his Western Province Currie Cup debut in 2009 and his Stormers Super Rugby debut in 2010. In 2010, he made his Springbok debut against Wales at the Millennium Stadium and scored the 59th-minute try that effectively secured victory for the Boks. He has made 58 appearances for Western Cape, 94 for the Stormers and 19 for the Springboks.
In 2010, he was the part of the Western Province team that made it to the Currie Cup final for the first time since 2001, which they lost to the Sharks. However, in 2012, Juan’s Western Province met the Sharks once again and scored their first Currie Cup victory in 11 years. In 2014, he was promoted to Captain and the led the Western Province to another Curry Cup victory. This was despite the fact that he started 2014 with injuries that required an operation.
Juan was part of the South African Sevens team that won a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics and he is part of the South Africa ‘A’ squad to face the French Barbarians in June.
Juan’s former coach, Allister Coetzee, describes him as a humble person who is eager to learn and confident on the field. He is also an ambassador for SaveSA, an organization that is focused on improving the quality of education in South Africa.
He will be joining the Wasps at the end of his Super Rugby season and for now, remains committed to the Stormers in achieving their goal of once again reaching the Super Rugby final. He says that he “will always be a Province man” and will look back on his time at Newlands with no regrets.