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Eben Etzebeth (born 29 October 1991) is a South African rugby player for the South Africa national team and Toulon in the Top 14 in France.[1][4][5] His regular playing position is as a number 4 lock.[6]

Eben Etzebeth
Eben Etzebeth.jpg
Date of birth (1991-10-29) 29 October 1991 (age 28)
Place of birthCape Town, South Africa
Height2.03 m (6 ft 8 in)[1]
Weight123 kg (271 lb; 19 st 5 lb)[1]
SchoolTygerberg High School
Rugby union career
Position(s) Lock
Current team Toulon
Youth Career
2009–2011 Western Province
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2011 UCT Ikey Tigers 7 (5)
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2012–2014 Western Province 7 (0)
2012–2019 Stormers 62 (20)
2015–2016 NTT DoCoMo
Red Hurricanes
9 (5)
2019–present Toulon 0 (0)
Correct as of 7 July 2019
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2011 South Africa U20 5 (5)
2012–present South Africa 85 (15)
2015 Springboks [a] 1 (5)
2016 Springbok XV [b] 1 (0)
Correct as of 3 November 2019

Club careerEdit

Western Province and StormersEdit

Etzebeth was marked out as a player of huge promise from an early age when playing for Tygerberg High School in Cape Town and he entered the Western Province youth structures in 2009, featuring in the Under-18 Craven Week tournament.[1] In 2011, his career moved up a gear when he was part of the UCT Ikey Tigers side which won the Varsity Cup,[7] however injury stalled his progress in the second half of the year and he was unable to play any part in the 2011 Currie Cup.

His injury didn't stop him from being named in the Stormers squad for the 2012 Super Rugby season. He recovered from injury in time for the start of the campaign and debuted on 25 February 2012 against the Hurricanes.[8] In total, he made 13 appearances during the season and managed to score 1 try as the Stormers won 14 of their 16 league matches before eventually losing to the Sharks in the semi-finals.[9]

International commitments kept him out of the early stages of the 2012 Currie Cup, but he returned at the tail-end of the tournament, winning his first 3 Western Province caps and helping them to lift their first Currie Cup title since 2002. He was awarded the Man of the Match award as Province gained revenge on the Sharks with a 25-18 win in Durban.[5][10]

Injury ruled Etzebeth out of the first half of the 2013 Super Rugby season, but he returned for the second half of the campaign, playing 8 matches and scoring 1 try. He also won a team-high 47 lineouts and effected 8 steals on opposition throws.[4] For the 2013 Currie Cup, Etzebeth was again missing for large chunks of the season due to Springbok commitments, however he once again returned for the final 3 matches of the season. This time he was unable to stop the Sharks from regaining the Currie Cup by turning the tables on Western Province with a 33-19 win in Cape Town.[11]

The first 6 months of 2014 saw Etzebeth a foot injury sustained while on international duty in November 2013 ruled him out of the entire campaign.[12] He remained committed to both of his Cape Town-based sides and in April 2013, he signed a deal that would keep him tied to Western Province and the Stormers until 2016.[13]

Etzebeth was yellow-carded following a fight with Blues loose forward Akira Ioane in 2017.

NTT Docomo Red HurricanesEdit

In July 2015, he signed a deal to play for NTT DoCoMo Red Hurricanes in the Japanese Top League.[14]

ToulonEdit

In December 2018, Top 14 side Toulon accounced Etzebeth would join them after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.[15]

International careerEdit

South Africa U20sEdit

Etzebeth was a member of the South Africa Under 20 team that competed in the 2011 IRB Junior World Championship in Italy where the Baby Boks finished in a disappointing 5th place.[16][17]

SpringboksEdit

Etzebeth was called up to the Springbok squad for the first time by new head coach Heyneke Meyer ahead of the three match series against England in June 2012.[18]

He made his first appearance in the second row alongside fellow debutant Juandré Kruger on 9 June 2012 at Kings Park Stadium, Durban. South Africa were victorious by 22-17.[19] Despite suffering from some injury setbacks along the way, Etzebeth has maintained his position as first choice in the number 4 jersey throughout his Springbok career. By the end of the 2014 Rugby Championship he had made 29 appearances for his national team and is yet to score a try. Uniquely he has made more international appearances than he has Super Rugby and Currie Cup appearances combined. He also debuted for South Africa before he had played any Vodacom Cup or Currie Cup rugby for Western Province.[5]

On 23 November 2013 he was nominated for the 2013 IRB Player of the Year award along with Leigh Halfpenny, Sergio Parisse, Kieran Read and Ben Smith.[20] He has very impressive upper body strength for man of his huge height and young age, being able to bench press 385 pounds (175 kg), and perform incline dumbbell chest presses with 175 pounds (79 kg) dumbbells.[21]

Etzebeth was selected by the Springboks in the 31-man squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, making an appearance in every one of the team's pool matches, including one off the bench in South Africa's historic 32-34 loss to Japan. After starting in the rest of the pool matches, Etzebeth started in the quarter-final win against Wales and semi-final 18-20 narrow loss to New Zealand. On 30 October 2015, with the Springboks having been knocked out of the chance to win the World Cup, Etzebeth started in a locking partnership with retiring captain Victor Matfield against Argentina for the Bronze Final. Etzebeth played the full 80 minutes of the bronze final and scored a try in the 43rd minute, helping South Africa to win third place in the competition.

Etzebeth played his 50th test for South Africa, against Australia in round 3 of the 2016 Rugby Championship and became the youngest South African player in history to reach the milestone, being only 24 years old at the time. The match was a disappointment for the Springboks and for Etzebeth, who was yellow-carded in the 41st minute of their 17-23 loss against the Wallabies.

After captaining the Springboks to beat France 35-12 in the final match of a three-test series between the two sides, Etzebeth was named as captain of the Springboks for the 2017 Rugby Championship, replacing newly-appointed captain Warren Whiteley who was ruled out of the competition with an injury sustained in the second test of the French series. Whiteley failed to recover prior to the end of the 2017 season so this saw Etzebeth carry a huge workload for South Africa in 2017, playing the full 80 minutes of every match in the 2017 Rugby Championship and three-test French series. Etzebeth's 2017 campaign included what was arguably the best performance of his career in a narrow 24-25 loss to New Zealand in Cape Town.

After playing the full 80 minutes in South Africa's 3-38 loss to Ireland and 18-17 win over France on the end-of-year-tour, Etzebeth was finally subbed off for the first time in 2017 where he was replaced by Franco Mostert in a 35-6 win over Italy. Etzebeth was subbed off at half-time in the final test of 2017 where South Africa lost 22-24 against Wales, picking up a back injury. Etzebeth is expected to return to Super Rugby in May.

In addition to full international matches, Etzebeth has played in non-cap matches against a World XV in Cape Town 2015 and the Barbarians in London in 2016.

Etzebeth was named in South Africa's squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.[22] South Africa went on to win the tournament, defeating England in the final.[23]

Springbok statisticsEdit

Test Match RecordEdit

As of 3 November 2019
Against P W D L Tri Pts %Won
  Argentina 16 12 1 3 1 5 80
  Australia 14 7 2 5 1 5 50
  England 8 5 1 2 0 0 62.5
  France 5 5 0 0 1 5 100
  Ireland 6 3 0 3 0 0 50
  Italy 4 4 0 0 0 0 100
  Japan 3 2 0 1 0 0 66.67
  Namibia 1 1 0 0 0 0 100
  New Zealand 15 2 1 12 0 0 13.33
  Samoa 2 2 0 0 0 0 100
  Scotland 4 4 0 0 0 0 100
  United States 1 1 0 0 0 0 100
  Wales 6 3 0 3 0 0 50
Total 85 51 5 29 3 15 60

Pld = Games Played, W = Games Won, D = Games Drawn, L = Games Lost, Tri = Tries Scored, Pts = Points Scored

Super Rugby StatisticsEdit

As of 21 June 2015
Season Team Games Starts Sub Mins Tries Cons Pens Drops Points Yel Red
2012 Stormers 13 13 1 923 1 0 0 0 5 0 0
2013 Stormers 8 7 1 591 1 0 0 0 5 0 0
2014 Stormers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015 Stormers 11 10 1 791 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 32 30 2 2305 2 0 0 0 10 0 0
Rugby Union Captain
Preceded by
Warren Whiteley
Springbok Captain
2017
Next:
Pieter-Steph du Toit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ In 2015, the South African national team played a non-test international against a World XV in Cape Town.[1][2]
  2. ^ In 2016, the South African national team played a non-test international against the Barbarian in London.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "SA Rugby Player Profile – Eben Etzebeth". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  2. ^ South African Rugby Annual 2016. South African Rugby Union. 2016. pp. 124–125. ISBN 978-0-620-69290-8.
  3. ^ South African Rugby Annual 2017. South African Rugby Union. 2017. pp. 172–173. ISBN 978-0-620-74427-0.
  4. ^ a b "Eben Etzebeth Stormers Player Profile". Stormers Rugby. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Eben Etzebeth Western Province Player Profile". WP Rugby. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Bok No 5 shirt: It stays a dogfight". Sport24. 8 November 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  7. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – Tuks 16-26 UCT". South African Rugby Union. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Etzebeth to make Stormers debut". Iol.co.za. 22 February 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  9. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – DHL Stormers 19-26 Sharks". South African Rugby Union. 28 July 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  10. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – The Sharks 18-25 DHL Western Province". South African Rugby Union. 27 October 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  11. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – DHL Western Province 19-33 The Sharks". South African Rugby Union. 26 October 2013. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Etzebeth to miss the start of Super Rugby season". SuperXV.com. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Stormers retain key quartet". Rugby365. 22 April 2013. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  14. ^ "2015年度 新加入選手(追加)のお知らせ" (Press release) (in Japanese). NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  15. ^ "Eben Etzebeth s'engage avec le RCT pour 2 ans !" (Press release) (in French). Rugby Club Toulonnais. 13 December 2018. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  16. ^ "SA Under-20 squad named". Sport24. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  17. ^ "Eben Etzebeth IRB JWC Player Profile". IRB.com. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  18. ^ "Springboks to blood forwards Eben Etzebeth, Juandre Kruger and Marcell Coetzee against England in Durban Test". Daily Telegraph. Associated Press. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2013.
  19. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – South Africa 22-17 England". South African Rugby Union. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Read, Smith and Etzebeth included on IRB World Player Shortlist". Sanzar Rugby. 22 November 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  21. ^ "15 of the Biggest Beasts in Rugby". The Athletic Build. 7 January 2018. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  22. ^ "South Africa World Cup squad: Siya Kolisi wins fitness battle, Eben Etzebeth backed, Aphiwe Dyantyi dropped". Independent. 26 August 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
  23. ^ "England 12-32 South Africa: Springboks win World Cup for record-equalling third time". BBC. 2 November 2019. Retrieved 3 November 2019.

External linksEdit