Chiliboy Ralepelle will be remembered for being banned from the sport. Learn about his career with Rugby365, your resident rugby gurus. Click here for more.
Chiliboy Ralepelle, the hooker from Tzaneen, seemed to have the fairy-tale start to his rugby career. His youth rugby was played at the Blue Bulls in 2005, and he captained the Springboks u21 side that went to the IRB Rugby World Cup final in 2006.
At age 19 he made his senior rugby debut for the Bulls in the Super 14 match when the Bulls travelled to Bloemfontein to face the Cheetahs. Chiliboy Ralepelle played only one more match for the Pretoria based side (against the Waratahs) before being dropped to the Vodacom Cup side. This did not affect the selectors choice, as he received his Springbok call up in the same year, despite only having less than 10 minutes of senior rugby behind his name, Chiliboy Ralepelle was included in Jake White’s Tri-Nations (now The Rugby Championship) series squad.
Chiliboy Ralepelle made his test debut as a 19-year-old in front of a home crowd in Pretoria against the All Blacks. He was also included in the touring squad that would head North at the end of 2006. Here Chiliboy Ralepelle was appointed captain for the match against the World XV at Walker Stadium in Leicester. This would make him the first black player and also the youngest player to captain a South African national side.
2007 saw Chiliboy Ralepelle hit with injury. During a Bulls match, he was struck with a knee injury, which forced him to be away from the pitch for 18 months. Chiliboy Ralepelle returned to the field in August 2008, where he made his Currie Cup debut for the Bulls. This year he also returned to the national squad, where he was included for the of Great Britain during November. During 2009, Chiliboy Ralepelle not only won the Super 14 tournament with the Bulls, but he was also included in the Springbok squad that would face the British and Irish Lions and again in the Tri-Nations squad. During 2006-2018, Chiliboy Ralepelle made 25 appearances for the Springboks.
In 2010, Chiliboy Ralepelle tested positive for a banned substance during the end-of-year tour of Great Britain and Ireland, but this was later overturned. He made the move to Toulouse in 2013, and Chiliboy Ralepelle made his Heineken Cup debut against Zebre. During the off-season of 2014, Chiliboy Ralepelle again tested positive for a banned substance. Toulouse ended his contract, and he received a two-year ban.
The Sharks announced in 2016 that Chiliboy Ralepelle would join their team that year. During 2019 Sharks training session in Durban, he was drug tested, and again Chiliboy Ralepelle tested positive. Because this was his second violation in under ten years, he received an eight-year ban from the sport. While he did appeal this sentence, claiming that the correct process of gathering and testing the sample was not followed, Chiliboy Ralepelle’s appeal failed.