Rugby legend Jannie du Plessis' one-year-old son drowns in pool

Rugby legend Jannie du Plessis’ one-year-old son drowns in pool as the South African World Cup winner celebrated his 39th birthday

  • Jannie du Plessis’ son drowned in pool as Rugby star was celebrating his birthday
  • One-year-old was christened on Sunday, died as his father turned 39 yesterday
  • Star was capped 70 times, part of South Africa’s 2007 World Cup winning squad 
  • His former club Sharks extended their ‘deepest condolences’ and sent ‘prayers’

Rugby legend Jannie du Plessis’ one-year-old son drowned in a pool as the South African World Cup winner celebrated his 39th birthday yesterday. 

Former Springbok Rudolf Straeuli confirmed the news, telling Sport24: ‘We, as a Lions family, aren’t doing well. I can confirm that this tragedy took place. We are all devastated.’

He later added: ‘As I’m sure everyone can understand, Jannie and his family now need to be left alone to process this tragedy. 

‘We offer our full support to him and kindly request everyone to keep them in their thoughts and prayers.’ 

It is understood the child was christened on Sunday and died on his father’s birthday, November 16. The du Plessis’ have have two other children, daughters Rosalie and Hele. 

Former player Toks van der Linde announced the news on Twitter with a picture of Jannie du Plessis with his wife Ronel and late son

Jannie du Plessis, a qualified doctor, was capped 70 times for South Africa and was part of the 2007 World Cup winning squad

Former player Albert ‘Toks’ van der Linde announced the news on Twitter with a picture of du Plessis with his wife Ronel and late son. 

‘Please pray for Jannie du Plessis and his family. His son of one year old drowned last night, my heart is broken broken broken. So so sad,’ it said.  

Du Plessis’ former club also sent their ‘deepest condolences to Jannie, Ronel and the entire du Plessis family on the tragic loss of his young son.’  

A spokesperson for the club said: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.’

Du Plessis, a qualified doctor, was part of South Africa’s 2007 Rugby World Cup winning squad alongside younger brother Bismarck and has been capped 70 times by his country. 

Du Plessis (pictured playing against England in November 2008) was part of South Africa’s 2007 Rugby World Cup winning squad alongside younger brother Bismarck

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