Academy Member


du Plessis

A great captain, he was manager of the Springbok side in 1995 that famously won the Rugby World Cup and received the trophy from Nelson Mandela.

Morné is a legend of South African rugby. Widely regarded as one of his country's best ever loose forwards, he captained the Springboks for five years.
He played as a No 8 with Western Province and 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, 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 South Africa’s National Order of Ikhamanga in Silver. In 2015 he was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame on the 20th anniversary of the victory.
Morné was 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.
A founder member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, he is also Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Trust in South Africa and is Chairman of the Management Committee of the Chris Burger / Petro Jackson Players’ Fund, which was established 40 years ago to provide financial assistance to rugby players who have sustained serious rugby injuries. 
He says: “Looking back at the Rugby World Cup in 1995, it was a wonderful experience and it certainly lived up to our expectations. The 1995 win largely inspired a lot of the work that Laureus is doing around the world today and it really highlighted the fact that sport can be such a powerful initiator of social change.”


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