|Birth name||Johann van Niekerk|
|Date of birth||14 May 1980|
|Place of birth||Port Elizabeth, South Africa|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Weight||108 kg (238 lb)|
|Rugby union career|
Johann "Joe" van Niekerk (born 14 May 1980 in Port Elizabeth) is a South African rugby union player, who generally plays either as a flanker or number 8. He currently plays for Toulon in the Top 14.Joe van Niekerk one of the greatest captains of the roads of Toulon as a warrior.
Port Elizabeth or The Bay is one of the major cities in South Africa; it is situated in the Eastern Cape Province, 770 km (478 mi) east of Cape Town. The city, often shortened to PE and nicknamed "The Windy City", stretches for 16 km along Algoa Bay, and is one of the major seaports in South Africa. Port Elizabeth is the southernmost large city on the African continent, just farther south than Cape Town. Port Elizabeth was founded as a town in 1820 to house British settlers as a way of strengthening the border region between the Cape Colony and the Xhosa. It now forms part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, which has a population of over 1.3 million.
Rugby union, commonly known in most of the world simply as rugby, is a contact team sport which originated in England in the first half of the 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand. In its most common form, a game is between two teams of 15 players using an oval-shaped ball on a rectangular field with H-shaped goalposts at each end.
Flanker is a position in the sport of rugby union. Each team of 15 players includes two flankers, who play in the forwards, and are generally classified as either blindside or openside flankers, numbers 6 and 7 respectively. The name comes from their position in a scrum in which they 'flank' each set of forwards. They compete for the ball – most commonly in rucks and mauls. Flankers also assist in pushing in a scrum, but are expected to detach from the scrum as soon as the ball is out to get to the play before the opposition's forwards. Flankers also participate in line-outs, either being lifted to contest or win possession, or to lift other players. Flankers are usually the key participants in the tackling process. The flankers, especially the openside, are often the fastest forwards on the team but still relied upon for tackling.
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.He made his debut against the All Blacks in Cape Town.
The South Africa national rugby union team, commonly known as the Springboks, is governed by the South African Rugby Union. The Springboks play in green and gold jerseys with white shorts, and their emblems are the Springbok and the King Protea. The team has been representing South Africa in international rugby union since 30 July 1891, when they played their first test match against a British Isles touring team.
The Currie Cup tournament is South Africa's premier domestic rugby union competition, played each winter and spring, featuring teams representing either entire provinces or substantial regions within provinces. Although it is the premier domestic competition, South African teams also compete in the international Super Rugby and Pro14 competitions.
Super Rugby is a professional men's rugby union competition involving teams from Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Japan. Building on various Southern Hemisphere competitions dating back to the South Pacific Championship in 1986, with teams from a number of southern nations, Super Rugby started as the Super 12 in the 1996 season with 12 teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The Super 12 was established by SANZAR after the sport became professional in 1995.
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.
The Australia national rugby union team, nicknamed the Wallabies, is controlled by Rugby Australia. The team first played at Sydney in 1899, winning their first test match against the touring British Isles team.
The 2002 Tri Nations Series was contested from 13 July to 17 August between the Australia, New Zealand and South Africa national rugby union teams. The All Blacks won the tournament.
The 2004 Tri Nations Series, an annual rugby union competition between the national teams of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, was the ninth in the series. The competition is organised by SANZAR, a consortium of the three countries' rugby union federations. The series was contested in its original double round-robin format, with each team playing the others twice.
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. At the moment he plays for RC Toulon, a club in France. In May 2013 he played as a replacement as Toulon won the 2013 Heineken Cup Final by 16–15 against Clermont Auvergne.
The 2008 Tri Nations Series was the thirteenth annual Tri Nations competition between the national rugby union teams of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. The All Blacks won the series on 13 September 2008 after defeating Australia in the last match of the series.
Wellington is the capital city and second most populous urban area of New Zealand, with 418,500 residents. It is located at the south-western tip of the North Island, between Cook Strait and the Remutaka Range. Wellington is the major population centre of the southern North Island, and is the administrative centre of the Wellington Region, which also includes the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa. Its latitude is 41°17′S, making it the world's southernmost capital of a sovereign state. Wellington features a temperate maritime climate, and is the world's windiest city by average wind speed.
Northampton Saints are a professional rugby union club from Northampton, England. They were formed in 1880, and play in black, green, and gold colours. The team play their home games at Franklin's Gardens, which has a capacity of 15,250. Their biggest rivals are Leicester Tigers. "The East Midlands Derby" is one of the fiercest rivalries in English Rugby Union.
The South African national rugby sevens team competes in the World Rugby Sevens Series, the Rugby World Cup Sevens, the Summer Olympic Games and the Commonwealth Games.
The Lions are a South African professional rugby union team from Johannesburg who compete in the Super Rugby competition. They were previously known as the Cats between the 1998 and 2006 seasons. They had varied results in the competition, finishing at the bottom of the table six times, but reaching the semifinal stage five times. They reached their first final in 2016 – where they lost to the Hurricanes 20–3 in Wellington – and repeated the feat in 2017, losing 17–25 to the Crusaders in Johannesburg.
The Stormers are a South African professional rugby union team based in Cape Town competing in the Super Rugby competition. They have never won a tournament, but their home stadium, Newlands, typically draws the highest average attendance figures of any ground in Super Rugby..
The 2012–13 Heineken Cup was the 18th season of the Heineken Cup, the annual rugby union European club competition for clubs from the top six nations in European rugby. The tournament began with two pool matches on 12 October 2012 and ended with the final at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on 18 May 2013.
The Top 14 is a professional rugby union club competition that is played in France created in 1892. The Top 14 is at the top of the national league system operated by the French National Rugby League, also known by its French initialism of LNR. There is promotion and relegation between the Top 14 and the next level down, the Rugby Pro D2. The fourteen best rugby teams in France participate in the competition, hence the name Top 14. The competition was previously known as the Top 16.
The 2013–14 Top 14 competition is a French domestic rugby union club competition operated by the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (LNR). Two new teams from the 2012–13 Pro D2 season were promoted to Top 14 this year, Oyonnax and Brive in place of the two relegated teams, Agen and Mont-de-Marsan. Home-and-away play began on 16 August 2013 and continued through to 3 May 2014.
Victor Matfield is a South African former rugby union player. He played for and captained the South Africa national team (Springboks) as well as the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup and the Bulls franchise in Super Rugby. He was generally considered one of the best locks in the world and had a long successful partnership with Springbok and Blue Bulls teammate Bakkies Botha.
John Philip "Bakkies" Botha, is a South African rugby union player who played as a lock for the Springboks until 22 November 2014. He was a member of the national team that won the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France in addition to winning two Tri Nations titles in the 2004 Tri Nations Series and the 2009 Tri Nations Series. Botha plays for RC Toulonnais in the Top 14 after signing from Blue Bulls provincial team in the Currie Cup competition and the Bulls Super Rugby team. Botha was also a member of the Toulon squad which won the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Heineken Cup/European Rugby Champions Cup Finals.
Bryan Gary Habana OIS is a South African former rugby union player who played as a wing. He most recently played for Toulon in the French Top 14 competition, and for the South Africa national team.
Robert Brian Skinstad is a rugby union player who has represented the South African national team, the Springboks. He played in the positions of flanker and number eight.
Matthew James 'Matt' Giteau is an Australian rugby union player who now plays for the Japanese Top League side Suntory Sungoliath. During his career he won 100 test caps for Australia. He was reselected to the national team after several years' absence under rule known as Giteau's law.
Daniel Jacobus "Danie" Rossouw is a retired South African rugby union footballer who plays as a second row forward or back row forward. He played for the Bulls in the Super Rugby competition. Rossouw made his provincial debut during 1999 for the Blue Bulls in a match against the North Western Province in the Currie Cup competition. In 2001 he made his Super 12 debut for the Bulls against the Cats.
Juanne Hugo Smith is a South African rugby union footballer who has represented South Africa in international test rugby, the Cheetahs in the Super Rugby competition and the Free State Cheetahs in the Currie Cup. Known as Juan Smith, he plays as a blindside flanker, although he has also played number eight.
Jon-Paul Roger "JP" Pietersen is a South African rugby union footballer. He generally plays fullback or wing for Toulon in the Top 14. He played in 69 tests for the Springboks.
André Stefan Pretorius is a former South African rugby union footballer that played professionally between 1999 and 2014. His usual position was at fly-half. He has been capped by his country's national side, the Springboks and was a member of the 2007 Rugby World Cup squad that was crowned world champions.
Mahlatse Chiliboy Ralepelle, is a rugby union player for the Sharks in Super Rugby and in the Currie Cup. His usual position is at hooker.
Lawrence Sephaka is a South African rugby union footballer. His usual position is at prop, preferably Tighthead.
Philippus Albertus van den Berg is a former South African rugby union rugby player. His usual position was at lock. He played for the Sharks in the international Super 14 competition. He has also played for the Springboks.
Christoffel Johannes van der Linde is a former South African rugby union player and currently the scrum coach at French Top 14 side Montpellier. He played first class rugby between 2002 and 2015 in South Africa, Ireland, England and France and also made 75 test matches for South Africa, which included winning the 2007 Rugby World Cup. His usual playing position was prop.
Wikus van Heerden is a former South African rugby union footballer who played as a flanker and finished his career playing for the Lions in Super Rugby, and the Golden Lions in the national Currie Cup competition. Van Heerden has also played for the national team, the Springboks. Before his move to the Bulls, he was the captain of the Cats. Van Heerden is known for his high work rate, toughness as well as his leadership experience, despite having captained perpetually unsuccessful teams.
Carl Joseph Hayman is a retired New Zealand rugby union footballer who played at tighthead prop. Hayman has previously played for the Highlanders in Super Rugby, Otago in the NPC, and Newcastle Falcons in the English Premiership, as well as making 45 appearances for New Zealand at international level. Hayman announced his retirement from professional rugby in January 2015, aged 35.
Heinrich Wilhelm Brüssow is a South African rugby union player. His usual position is open-side flanker and he currently plays for Northampton Saints in the English Premiership.
Ryan Kankowski is a South African rugby union player, who played for the South Africa national rugby union team between 2007 and 2012.
Juandré Kruger is a South African Rugby union footballer, contracted to Rugby Club Toulon in the French Top 14. His preferred position is at Lock although he has also played in the back row.
Pieter Willem Gabriel Rossouw is a former South African rugby player and current coach. Rossouw played wing for Western Province in the Currie Cup and the Stormers in the Super Rugby competition. He played a total of 43 times for the Springboks, making him one of the most capped Springbok wingers after South Africa's readmission to international rugby. He was also one of South Africa's most prolific try-scoring wingers, post-isolation, with only Breyton Paulse(26) and Bryan Habana(53) scoring more tries. He is 7th on the all-time try-scoring list for the Springboks. Rossouw is currently the backline coach of the Bulls in Super rugby and the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup. He was known as "Slaptjips", apparently because the sight of his running legs was like potato chips slapping together. Pieter is the older brother of Chris Rossouw, who played flyhalf for Western Province and the Free State Cheetahs.
Dean Bradley Hall is a former South African rugby player. He played on the wing. He played the majority of his career for the Johannesburg based teams, the Golden Lions in the Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup and the Cats in Super Rugby. Later in his career he moved to Durban and played for the Sharks in the Currie Cup, the Natal Wildebeest in the Vodacom Cup and the Sharks in Super Rugby. He was also capped thirteen times for the Springboks and scored four test tries. His career was hampered with injury and he never reached his full potential. He was quite large for a wing, but in the wake of Jonah Lomu's sensation at the 1995 Rugby World Cup, it was hoped that Dean Hall would become the Springbok's massive wing.