Jannie du Plessis: one year old son of South Africa rugby World Cup winner drowns in family pool

South African Rugby player Jannie Du Plessis has recently lost his one year old son after a drowning incident in their family home

Du Plessis was celebrating his 39th birthday when he lost his son in drowning incident

Springboks star Jannie Du Plessis lost his 10 month-old son while the Rugby player was celebrating his 39th birthday.

The son is said to have drowned in the family pool while the family were celebrating. The South African World Cup winner has two other children with his wife Ronel, and the family live in a mining town to the west of Johannesburg.

Sign up to our World of Sport newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Police have said that officers are investigating the incident and stated “On November 16 at about 1900, police were called to a scene of a drowning whereby a 10 month old baby boy fell in the swimming pool.

“The police appeal to parents or guardians of younger children to be more careful where children are playing closer to any hazard.”

Du Plessis first played for South Africa in 2007

Condolences have come flooding in from other South African Rugby players, as well as his former club, the Sharks.

Former Springbok and CEO of the Lion’s Rudolf Straeuli spoke to Sport24 saying “We, as a Lions family, aren’t doing well. I can confirm that this tragedy took place. We are all devastated.

“As I am sure everyone can understand, Jannie and his family now need to be left alone to process this tragedy.

“We offer our full support to him and kindly request everyone to keep them in their thoughts and prayers.”

The Sharks tweeted that they were sending their ‘deepest condolences to Jannie, Ronel and the entire du Plessis family on the tragic loss of his young son.”

The SA Rugby Legends also sent a message to the tighthead prop saying “Our heartfelt thoughts, prayers and condolences go to Jannie and Ronel du Plessis on the tragic loss of their beloved son. We are heartbroken for you.”

Du Plessis grew up on a farm outside Bethlehem, Free State South Africa, where his wife and children lived during the pandemic.

He is the older brother of another Springbok star, the hooker Bismark du Plessis.

The former Montpellier player previously said in an interview with Food for Mzansi “Deep in my heart I have always been a farm boy. I cannot wait to start farming full-time after my rugby career.”

Du Plessis first became a professional rugby player in 2003 when he made the senior Free State Cheetahs side and just three years later was named in the 2006 World XI squad.

In 2007, du Plessis was named for the World Cup, which the Springboks went on to win after beating England in the final and he was also in the Currie Cup Final where his team, the Cheetahs defeated the Golden Lions. He is one of four players to earn World Cup and Currie Cup winners’ medals in the same year.

Between 2007 and 2015, the tight head prop earned 70 caps for his country with one try to his name.

The tight head prop has played for the Sharks, Montpellier and currently plays for the Golden Lions where has made eight appearances and scored five points.

As well as being an international Rugby star, du Plessis studied medicine at the University of the Free State and worked as doctor, which has meant he is one of the few players in the professional era of rugby to have another career outside of his sport.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.