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Morné du Plessis is a legend in the annals of South African rugby. Widely regarded as one of his country's best ever loose forwards, he captained the Springboks for five years and in 1995 was manager of the side that won the Rugby World Cup in Ellis Park, Johannesburg, and received the trophy from Nelson Mandela.
Morné, who played as a No 8 with Western Province, was first picked as a Springbok in 1971. In total he played 22 Test matches and was captain, like his father before him, for 15 of those matches, leading the team to 12 wins.
During his time as captain, the Springboks had two famous series wins against Andy Leslie's All Blacks in 1976 and Bill Beaumont's British Lions in 1980. After the Springboks beat France 2-0 in a home series in 1980, he surprised the rugby world by announcing his resignation at the age of 31.
After resisting several offers to coach during the intervening years, Morné eventually bowed to public pressure and returned to rugby as manager of the Springboks on the eve of the 1995 World Cup. Always noted for his meticulous preparation and man-management skills, he struck up an effective partnership with South African coach Kitch Christie and the pair were an integral part of their country's unbeaten run through that year's World Cup. For his contribution to rugby, he was presented with the National Order of Ikhamanga in Silver.
Morné is now Executive Chairman of Remgro Sport Investments, a group primarily committed to the management of high performance sports facilities and services, as well as investment in professional sports teams, in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
He was also a co-founder with Professor Tim Noakes of the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, which strives to improve sporting performance and health of all South Africans through the execution, dissemination and application of science.
Morné, who is Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Trust in South Africa, is also Chairman of the Management Committee of the Chris Burger / Petro Jackson Players’ Fund, which was established 33 years ago to provide financial assistance to rugby players who have sustained serious rugby injuries.