Joe van Niekerk

Johann "Joe" van Niekerk (born 14 May 1980) is a South African former professional rugby union player who played either as a flanker or number 8.

Joe van Niekerk
USO - RCT - 28-09-2013 - Stade Mathon - Johann Christiaan Van Niekerk.jpg
Birth nameJohann van Niekerk
Date of birth (1980-05-14) 14 May 1980 (age 42)
Place of birthPort Elizabeth, South Africa
Height1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Weight108 kg (238 lb)
Rugby union career
Position(s) Flanker/No.8
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
2008–2014 Toulon 122 120
Provincial / State sides
Years Team Apps (Points)
2004–2007 Western Province ()
Super Rugby
Years Team Apps (Points)
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
2001–2010 South Africa 52 (50)

Career overviewEdit

After starring for the South Africa Schools, under-19, and under-21 sides, and captaining at all three levels, van Niekerk received the rare honour of being called up to the Springboks directly from the U21 side in 2001, in spite of never having played a game in either the Currie Cup or Super 12.[1] He made his debut against the All Blacks in Cape Town.

Van Niekerk has experienced injury troubles throughout his senior-level career. When healthy, however, he is considered able to compete with virtually any back-row player in the world. He scored important tries for the Boks in home wins over the Wallabies in the 2002 Tri Nations Series and the 2004 Tri Nations Series. He has often been used as an "impact player" off the bench, especially in the 2005 Tri Nations Series.

In 2002, he was voted the South African "Player of the Year". In the first match of the 2008 Tri Nations Series against the All Blacks in Wellington, he was a surprise choice to start at No. 8. He was expected to play for the Northampton Saints however his contract was terminated before he arrived, reportedly because of constant injury problems. In May 2013 he played as a replacement as Toulon won the 2013 Heineken Cup Final by 16–15 against Clermont Auvergne.[2] After 2014 Heineken Cup Final van Niekerk has officially retired from rugby union.

Van Niekerk resides in Costa Rica and runs Rama Organica organic farm.[3]




South AfricaEdit



  1. ^ "Showdown at ... Quiz Creek" 2008, p. 32.
  2. ^ "Toulon claim Heineken Cup glory". ESPN. 18 March 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  3. ^ Spiritual journey takes Joe van Niekerk from Springboks to the jungle

External linksEdit