With the 2020 Varsity Cup just around the corner, RugbyRocks.com looks at 12 graduates of the tournament who went on to win the 2019 World Cup with the Springboks.
Eben Etzebeth (UCT)
Etzebeth played for the Ikey Tigers team that won the 2011 Varsity Cup, beating Tuks in the Pretoria final. The lock went on to represent the Stormers and Springboks, had a short stint with the NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes in Japan and recently joined French club Toulon.
Damian de Allende (UCT)
The Springbok centre played on the wing for the Ikey Tigers in 2012, when they finished seventh on the log. He went on to play for Western Province and the Stormers and is currently with Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights.
Lood de Jager (Pukke)
The Bok lock made a name for himself in the 2012 Varsity Cup with Pukke, who reached the semi-finals of the tournament. He played Super Rugby for the Cheetahs and Bulls, and is set to make his debut for the Sale Sharks in England later this month.
Warrick Gelant (Tuks)
The fullback represented the University of Pretoria in 2014 when they missed out on the semi-finals. He made his debut for the Bulls the following year and remains at the union.
Herschel Jantjies (UWC)
Just two years before winning the World Cup, the scrumhalf was part of Chester Williams’ University of Western Cape team that won the Varsity Shield. Jantjies had a breakthrough Super Rugby campaign with the Stormers in 2019 that put him on the Bok radar.
Vincent Koch (Tuks)
The tighthead prop played for Tuks in 2011 and 2012. In the latter year, they won the tournament by beating Maties in the Pretoria final. Koch went on to play for the Pumas and Stormers, and has been at Saracens in England since 2016.
Bongi Mbonambi (TUT & Tuks)
The hooker played for the Tshwane University of Technology in 2012 before joining Tuks, who won the Varsity Cup in 2013. He went on to play for the Bulls, before being signed by the Stormers.
Franco Mostert (Tuks)
The lock represented Tuks from 2010 to 2012, helping them lift the Varsity Cup trophy in his final year. He spent a season with the Bulls and three at the Lions before signing for English club Gloucester.
Handré Pollard (Tuks)
Pollard played inside centre for Tuks and scored 17 points in their 44-5 thrashing of Maties in the final at the Danie Craven Stadium. He finished the tournament with 85 points and went on to have a stellar career with the Bulls. Pollard is currently playing for Montpellier in France.
Malcolm Marx (UJ)
The hooker helped the University of Johannesburg reach the semi-finals of the 2013 Varsity Cup. He has been a key player for the Lions and is currently on a sabbatical with the NTT Communications Shining Arcs in Japan.
S’busiso Nkosi (UKZN)
The winger joined the Sharks Academy after school and played for the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the 2016 Varsity Shield. They finished joint top of the log with Wits but had 12 points deducted for fielding an eligible player.
Trevor Nyakane (CUT)
The charismatic prop played for the Central University of Technology in the 2011 and 2012 Varsity Shield tournaments. He went on to play for the Cheetahs for five years, before joining the Bulls in 2012.
– Compiled by Savannah Connacher