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Damian de Allende Biography
Damian de Allende's rise from Milnerton High School cricketing star to Springbok rugby and World Cup winner, is an amazing story and one for any aspiring sportsman to take note of.
Having not played Craven Week rugby at school, where he achieved more as a cricketer, Damian de Allende slowly but surely worked his way up the ranks in the Western Province set-up after being called up to the U19 team in 2010 (when he was still in matric) - a squad that featured the likes of Scarra Ntubeni, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Nizaam Carr.
He spent the next two years in and out of the WP U21 team before making his Currie Cup debut - on the wing - in August 2012 and finishing that season as his province's Currie Cup-winning inside centre.
Damian de Allende has not looked back since. He joined Munster in 2020 making his debut for the Irish side in their 27-25 loss to Leinster in August. This was followed by his debut in the Champions Cup against English team Harlequins.
The 28-year-old Damian de Allende is a big and strong centre in the mould of compatriots like Trevor Halstead and Jean de Villiers, and one of the best defensive centres in world rugby. He has shown his versatility in the backline having played wing and centre at Super Rugby level, just like De Villiers had done before him. “Playing on the wing initially allowed me to settle into the team and, actually, I've learnt a lot about my game with all the challenges that come with playing in more than one position.
"I take plenty of inspiration from somebody like Jean de Villiers who, himself, started his senior career here on the wing,” he said.
Damian de Allende has been described as a good communicator, defensively very sound, shepherding carriers into positions where he invariably executes his tackles.
Following the Springboks’ World Cup homecoming, De Allende relocated to Japan at the end of 2019 to play for the Panasonic Wild Knights. However after the Top League was abandoned at the end of February, he wasn't able to fly back to South Africa so he eventually flew from Japan to Ireland in May of 2020.
Damian de Allende has proven popular with the fans, particularly for his dirty work; being physical in defence, holding up ball-carriers and slowing down opposition rucks.
He faced the British and Irish Lions in the three test-series in South Africa as the first choice inside centre.