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Rising SA star making waves in Ireland U20 side

SPOTLIGHT: South African centre Wilhelm de Klerk has entrenched himself in Ireland where he has worked his way into the Under-20 Six Nations team while he will also be in action in South Africa during the World Junior Championships in June.


The Ireland U20 team kicked off their Six Nations campaign with a bonus point 37-36 victory over France at Stade Maurice David in Aix-en-Provence last weekend.

Linking up with Hugh Gavin, the centre pairing played all of the 80 minutes and both have been included in the team that will face Italy in the second round of the Six Nations this weekend.

De Klerk has proven himself a key figure in Ireland’s junior structures and has become a rising star of the Irish U20 team this year.

De Klerk was born in South Africa but the family relocated to Ireland when he was 10 due to his father’s professional commitments.

The family initially planned to stay for two years but enjoyed Ireland so much that they ended up staying.

He took his first rugby steps in Ireland where he played in Malahide, a small coastal town north of Dublin, for a year or two before representing Contarf for a few years.


His talent quickly shone through as he progressed through various clubs and schools, starting at St Andrew’s College, then moving to the renowned St Michael’s College in his fourth year, and later at the University College Dublin (UCD).

As Ireland marches toward its third consecutive U20 Six Nations Grand Slam, De Klerk’s contribution to the team’s success is undeniable.

He is one of the newcomers to the U20 squad in 2024 but has already showcased his potential as a key member of the team.

With the prospect of a third consecutive U20 Six Nations Grand Slam in their sights, the young centre continues to make his mark in Ireland rugby.


Source @IrelandRugby

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