Jacques van der Westhuyzen
Head of Sport
2 minute read
27 Jul 2021
3:45 pm

Who exactly is Jasper Wiese? Five things to know

Jacques van der Westhuyzen

The new Bok No 8 has come a long way since growing up in Upington and playing Varsity Shield rugby for CUT.

Jasper Wiese made his debut for the Springboks from off the bench against Georgia a few weeks ago. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

The Springboks will go into the second Test against the British and Irish Lions on Saturday with a relatively unknown figure wearing the No 8 jersey.

Jasper Wiese is not someone all South African rugby fans will know very well.

Here then are five things to know about the new Bok eighthman.

Vital statistics

The 25-year-old was born in Upington in the Northern Cape and stands 1.9 metres tall and tips the scales at 110kg. After completing his schooling in Upington he joined the Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein, who he represented in the Varsity Shield and Cup competitions between 2014 and 2016. His middle name is Van der Westhuizen.

Making a name for himself

In 2016 and 2017 he ran out for the Free State and Griffons senior sides before becoming a regular in the Cheetahs Pro14 team in 2018 and 2019. In the middle of 2020 Wiese announced he would leave the Cheetahs and link up with Leicester Tigers in the English Premiership. He made his debut four days after meeting his new team mates and has so far played 20 times for the side.

Family business

Wiese is the older brother of Cobus Wiese, who is also a successful rugby player. Cobus is 24 years-old and featured regularly in the loose-forwards for the Stormers and Western Province between 2017 and 2020. He, too, has moved abroad and currently plays for Sale Sharks, the same team where Faf de Klerk and the Du Preez brothers, Jean-Luc and Dan, play.

Heroes growing up

According to Rugby World, Wiese admired the play of other well-known big back-row forwards in South African rugby, but most especially Schalk Burger, Juan Smith and the man whose place he has basically taken in the Bok side, Duane Vermeulen.

Big time

Wiese was called up to the Springbok squad for the first time ahead of the Tests against Georgia and the British and Irish Lions – mainly because of Vermeulen’s absence through injury. Though he made his debut from off the bench against Georgia, he didn’t crack the squad for the first Lions Test, but will now start this weekend.