South African rugby fans woke up to the sad news on Wednesday that former Springbok and current Lions prop Jannie du Plessis’ one-year-old son had died on Tuesday.
The 2007 World Cup-winning prop also turned 39 on Tuesday.
While the exact details of what happened are unclear, social media posts early on Wednesday indicated that Du Plessis’s son had drowned. It is understood the toddler was baptised on Sunday, according to some reports.
Former Bok prop Toks van der Linde, now a SuperSport commentator and TV show host, tweeted the news.
A Lions rugby franchise spokesman also confirmed the news on Wednesday morning.
Du Plessis, a veteran of the Springboks, joined the Lions from Montpellier in France in 2019 after previously playing for the Cheetahs and Sharks.
His brother Bismarck, also a World Cup winner in 2007, also played at Montpellier, before joining the Bulls a few months ago.