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François 'Faf' de Klerk (born 19 October 1991 in Nelspruit) is a South African rugby union player. He plays as a scrum-half for Sale Sharks in the English Premiership and for the South Africa national team.

Faf de Klerk
Faf de Klerk.jpg
Faf de Klerk playing for Sale Sharks, 2017
Full nameFrançois de Klerk
Date of birth (1991-10-19) 19 October 1991 (age 28)
Place of birthNelspruit, South Africa
Height1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Weight80 kg (180 lb)
SchoolHoërskool Waterkloof, Pretoria
Rugby union career
Position(s) Scrum-half
Current team Sale Sharks
Youth Career
2007–2009 Blue Bulls
2010–2011 Golden Lions
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2012–2015 Pumas 56 (20)
2014–2017 Lions 65 (72)
2016 Golden Lions 1 (0)
2017 Golden Lions XV 2 (0)
2017–present Sale Sharks 42 (189)
Correct as of 28 March 2019
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2016–present South Africa 28 (20)
Correct as of 21 October 2019

He was a member of the South Africa team that won the 2019 Rugby World Cup.


De Klerk played rugby at Hoërskool Waterkloof in Pretoria.[1]

Professional rugbyEdit

De Klerk was included in the Lions squad for the 2014 Super Rugby season[2] and made his debut in a 21–20 victory over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.[3][4]

He joined the Golden Lions Currie Cup team for the 2016 season.[5]

He joined English Premiership side Sale Sharks prior to the 2017–18 season on a three-year contract.[6] In December 2018, the club announced that De Klerk signed a contract extension until 2023.[7]

International rugbyEdit

De Klerk was rewarded for his Super Rugby form when he was selected by the recently-appointed Springbok coach Allister Coetzee in South Africa’s 31-man squad for their 2016 three-test match series against Ireland[8] and made his test debut as the starting scrum-half in the opening test at Newlands Stadium. In a tightly-fought series, Ireland won the first test 26−20, but the Springboks fought back to clinch the series, winning 32−26 in Johannesburg and 19−13 in Port Elizabeth.

After signing for Sale Sharks in 2017, De Klerk was ineligible to represent the Springboks due to having fewer than 30 caps.[9] However, after this selection criterion was abolished in 2018, new Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus recalled De Klerk to the team for the 2018 three-test match series against England.[9]

He was a member of South Africa's victorious 2019 Rugby Championship campaign and was duly selected for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.[10] In their 20 October quarter-final match against Japan, he was named Player of the Match.[11] He was a key player for South Africa's World Cup victory, being named as the starting scrum-half in three of their pool matches, as well as all their play-off games. He scored a try in their quarter-final win over Japan.[12]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Faf de Klerk: Five quick facts about the Springbok superstar". 26 June 2018.
  2. ^ "2014 Lions Super Rugby squad" (Press release). Lions. 11 February 2014. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  3. ^ "Match Centre: Cheetahs v Lions". SANZAR. 15 February 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  4. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – Toyota Cheetahs 20-21 Lions". South African Rugby Union. 15 February 2014. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  5. ^ "De Klerk and Fourie sign with Lions Rugby" (Press release). Golden Lions. 3 July 2015. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Sale Sharks announce signing of South Africa international Faf de Klerk" (Press release). Sale Sharks. 8 May 2017. Archived from the original on 8 May 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Faf de Klerk commits to Sale Sharks until 2023". BusinessLIVE. 1 January 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Squad of 31 ushers in new era of Springbok rugby". South African Rugby Union. 28 May 2016. Archived from the original on 31 May 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  9. ^ a b Rees, Paul (24 October 2019). "Faf de Klerk: 'I guess moving to England was a blessing in disguise'". The Guardian.
  10. ^ "England v South Africa: Can Faf de Klerk be stopped in World Cup final?". BBC Sport. 29 October 2019 – via
  11. ^ "Japan v South Africa - Catch up on all the action - Rugby World Cup 2019". World Rugby. 20 October 2019. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Match 44, Quarter Final". South African Rugby Union. 20 October 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.