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Damian Willemse (born (1998-05-07)7 May 1998) is a South African rugby union player for the South Africa national team and the Stormers in Super Rugby and Western Province in the Currie Cup.[1] His regular position is fly-half, but he can also play as a fullback.

Damian Willemse
Date of birth (1998-05-07) 7 May 1998 (age 21)
Place of birthStrand, South Africa
Height1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Weight90 kg (200 lb; 14 st 2 lb)
SchoolPaul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch
Notable relative(s)Ramone Samuels (brother)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Fly-half / Fullback
Current team Stormers / Western Province
Youth Career
2014–2019 Western Province
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2017–present Stormers 30 (143)
2017–present Template:Rut WesternProvince 19

(49

         years3 = 2019-present 
         clubs3 = Template:Saracens
          apps3 = 1
points3 = 0)
Correct as of 25 August 2019
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2015–2016 South Africa Schools 5 (5)
2017–2018 South Africa Under-20 7 (15)
2018–present South Africa 6 (5)
Correct as of 21 October 2019

Rugby careerEdit

2014–2016: Schoolboy rugbyEdit

Willemse was born in Strand. He attended and played rugby for Paul Roos Gymnasium in nearby Stellenbosch. In 2014, he was selected to represent Western Province at the Under-16 Grant Khomo Week held in Pretoria.[2] He started all three of their matches, helping them to three victories, scoring a try in the final match of the tournament, a 26–11 win over hosts the Blue Bulls.[3][4]

In 2015, Willemse was selected in the Western Province squad for South Africa's premier high school rugby tournament, the Under-18 Craven Week.[5] He started all three of their matches in the tournament held in Stellenbosch, scoring tries in a 65–5 victory over the Griffons[6] and in the unofficial final, helping his team to a 95–0 victory over Eastern Province.[7] After the tournament, he was included in the South Africa Schools squad for the Under-18 International Series, involving their counterparts from Wales, France and England.[8] He came on as a replacement in their 42–11 victory over Wales,[9] before starting their 12–5 win over France.[10] He was named on the bench for their final match against England, but remained unused as the hosts completed a whitewash in the competition, winning 23–16.[11]

2016 again saw Willemse selected for the Western Province Craven Week side for the tournament in Durban[12] and he again started all three of their matches. He scored two tries in their first match against Boland,[13] and helped the team to a 27–20 victory in the final match against the Golden Lions.[14] He earned a second call-up to the South African Schools team, this time starting all three of their matches in the fly-half position. South Africa beat Wales in their first match[15] and Willemse scored try in their match against the France Under-19s in a 42–3 win.[16] South Africa again completed a clean sweep, beating England 13–12 in their final match.[17]

After his international involvement, Willemse also appeared for the Western Province U19 team in the 2016 Under-19 Provincial Championship. He appeared as a replacement in three of their final four matches of the regular season, scoring a try on his debut at this level against the Sharks U19s[18] and kicking conversions in matches against the Leopards U19s[19] and the Blue Bulls U19s[20] in the other two, to help Western Province finish top of the log to qualify for the play-offs.[21] He was promoted to the starting line-up for their 30–15 victory over Free State U19 in the semi-finals,[22] and also started the final, where his team lost 19–60 to the Golden Lions U19s.[23]

2017: StormersEdit

Only months after finishing school, Willemse was included in the Stormers squad for the 2017 Super Rugby season.[24] He was included in a matchday squad for their Round Three match against the Southern Kings on 4 March,[25] and he made his Super Rugby debut – aged just 18 years, 301 days – by coming on for the final four minutes of the match.

International careerEdit

Damian Willemse made his international debut for South Africa in the 2018 Rugby Championship against Argentina at Kings Park Stadium in a 34-21 victory, coming off of the bench and substituting André Esterhuizen.

Willemse was not initially named in South Africa's squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.[26] However he was called up to replace the injured Jesse Kriel in the pool stage.[27] South Africa went on to win the tournament, defeating England in the final.[28]

Personal lifeEdit

Willemse is the younger brother of Ramone Samuels, also a professional rugby union player.[29] Both brothers were members of the Western Province squad that won the 2017 Currie Cup Premier Division.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "SA Rugby Player Profile – Damian Willemse". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  2. ^ "SA Rugby Squad – Western Province : 2014 U16 Grant Khomo Week". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  3. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – Western Province 26-11 Blue Bulls". South African Rugby Union. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  4. ^ "Grant Khomo: WP win again". Rugby365. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  5. ^ "SA Rugby Squad – Western Province U18 : 2015 U18 Craven Week". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  6. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – Western Province U18 65-5 Griffons U18". South African Rugby Union. 15 July 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  7. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – Western Province U18 95-0 Eastern Province U18". South African Rugby Union. 18 July 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  8. ^ "SA Rugby Squad – South Africa U18 : 2015 SA Schools 2015". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  9. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – South Africa U18 42-11 Wales U18". South African Rugby Union. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  10. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – South Africa U18 12-5 France U18". South African Rugby Union. 11 August 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  11. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – South Africa U18 23-16 England U18". South African Rugby Union. 15 August 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  12. ^ "SA Rugby Squad – DHL Western Province U18 : 2016 U18 Craven Week". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  13. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – DHL Western Province U18 41-20 Boland U18". South African Rugby Union. 11 July 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  14. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – DHL Western Province U18 27-20 Bidvest Golden Lions U18". South African Rugby Union. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  15. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – SA Schools 23-17 Wales U18". South African Rugby Union. 12 August 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  16. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – SA Schools 42-3 France U19". South African Rugby Union. 16 August 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  17. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – SA Schools 13-12 England U18". South African Rugby Union. 20 August 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  18. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – WP U19 48-40 Sharks U19". South African Rugby Union. 3 September 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  19. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – WP U19 54-8 Leopards U19". South African Rugby Union. 17 September 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  20. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – WP U19 30-50 Blue Bulls U19". South African Rugby Union. 23 September 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  21. ^ "SA Rugby Log – 2016 SA Rugby U19 Provincial Champs". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  22. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – WP U19 30-15 Free State U19". South African Rugby Union. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  23. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – WP U19 19-60 Golden Lions U19". South African Rugby Union. 22 October 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  24. ^ "DHL Stormers 2017 squad announced" (Press release). Stormers. 18 February 2017. Archived from the original on 18 February 2017. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  25. ^ "Match Centre: Stormers 32-25 Jaguares". SANZAAR. 4 March 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  26. ^ "South Africa World Cup squad: Siya Kolisi wins fitness battle, Eben Etzebeth backed, Aphiwe Dyantyi dropped". Independent. 26 August 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  27. ^ "Damian Willemse called up to replace Jesse Kriel in Springbok squad". thesouthafrican.com. 1 October 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  28. ^ "England 12-32 South Africa: Springboks win World Cup for record-equalling third time". BBC. 2 November 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  29. ^ "WP-broers wil Goue Beker huis toe bring". Netwerk24 (in Afrikaans). 28 October 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2017.

External linksEdit