UP has produced plenty of talented rugby players who have gone on to play at the highest level. Many have made incredible strides in Currie Cup and Super Rugby, with some even making it to the Springbok squad.
Rohan Janse van Rensburg
The burly inside centre played for UP-Tuks during the 2014 season of the Varsity Cup and joined the Lions squad in 2015. He was injured in his first campaign with the Lions, but has since recovered and in 2016 was one of South Africa’s outstanding inside centres.
His partnership with Springbok Lionel Mapoe was crucial in the Lions’ charge toward the title and second place finish in 2016. Janse van Rensburg has earned himself a deserved call-up to the Springbok side.
A talented and quick stepping full-back, Blommetjies played for UP-Tuks from 2009 until 2014. He formed a crucial part of the UP-Tuks squad during his varsity days making 16 appearances and scored 46 points overall.
Blommetjies then made his Currie Cup Premier Division debut for the Blue Bulls in their 35-20 win against the Griquas in 2013. After struggling for game time at the Bulls, Blommetjies moved to the Free State Cheetahs in 2014 and quickly became an established member of their squad. He formed an exciting partnership with fellow backs Sergeal Petersen and Raymond Rhule. Recently Blommetjies played a large role in the Cheetahs Currie Cup title triumph, their first since 2007.
The powerful lock played for UP from 2010 until 2012, making 17 appearances and scoring 20 points in his Varsity Cup career. Mostert joined the Lions in 2013, but had a frustrating first season after he was seriously injured in a car crash, subsequently missing the entire season. Mostert fully recovered and made his Super Rugby debut in 2014 in a 21-20 win against the Cheetahs. Mostert has quickly established himself as a lineout kingpin and leader of the Lions squad. His talents were recognised with a Springbok call-up and debut against Ireland during the 2016 June internationals.
A strong openside flank, Smit played for UP from 2014 until 2016 and made five appearances and scored five points during his time in the Varsity Cup. During his time in the Varsity Cup, Smit established himself as a brilliant breakdown specialist with his ability to slow down opposition’s possession and steal the ball. Smit made his senior debut for the Blue Bulls in the 2013 Vodacom Cup and was included in the 2013 South African squad for the Junior World Championship. Smit made his Super Rugby debut in 2014 and currently has 13 Super Rugby caps and five Super Rugby points to his name. Smit’s ability has also been recognised at senior international level as he earned his place in the respective Springbok squads to play the Barbarians and England, Wales and Italy on the SA end of year tour of 2016.
Photo: Stefan Stander