Jannie du Plessis Lions

Jannie du Plessis of the Lions. Photo: ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

WATCH: Heartwarming reception for Jannie du Plessis

Lions prop Jannie du Plessis received a notable reception as he returned to play after a recent family tragedy.

Jannie du Plessis Lions

Jannie du Plessis of the Lions. Photo: ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Jannie du Plessis has received widespread support from the Lions and the greater rugby community after tragically losing his son in a drowning accident last month.


He was afforded the opportunity to take as much compassionate leave as required, but bravely returned to the Lions squad this past weekend, and came off the bench against the Stormers.

As he took to the field, it was clear to see what a touching reception he received.

You can watch the clip below as Jannie took to the field:


The Lions picked up their first win since the opening round of the United Rugby Championship as they triumphed 37-19 over the Stormers in Cape Town.

The Johannesburg outfit had not registered a victory since beating Zebre Parma in Italy on the opening night of the campaign, but tries from Francke Horn (2), Andre Warner and Vincent Tshituka – and 17 points from the boot of Fred Zeilinga – saw them overcome the Stormers.

Stefan Ungerer, Seabelo Senatla and Andre-Hugo Venter crossed for the home side, with Manie Libbok and Tim Swiel kicking a conversion apiece.

Horn opened the scoring after 10 minutes, going over following a good run by Tshituka.

Zeilinga added the extras and a subsequent penalty, and things went from bad to worse for the Stormers when captain Salmaan Moerat was sin-binned for making contact in the air from the restart.

The Lions, however, soon found themselves light on personnel, as Willem Alberts and former Stormers wing Edwill van der Merwe were shown yellow cards in quick succession – the latter for a hair pull on Senatla.

With the Stormers two men to the good following Moerat’s return to the field, Ungerer found a gap in the Lions defence to run in the hosts’ first try.

Libbok was on target from the tee to reduce the deficit to three points and the Stormers had the lead soon after as Senatla went over despite suspicions of a forward pass.

The conversion was missed and a Zeilinga penalty edged the Lions back in front before half-time.

Warner stretched the lead by touching down early in the second half, following some neat footwork from Wandisile Simelane, and Zeilinga made it 20-12 from the tee before Jaco Visagie was sin-binned for not rolling away.

Being a man down did not prevent the Lions from extending their advantage further, with Burger Odendaal sending Tshituka over after 55 minutes and Zeilinga notching the conversion.

Stormers wing Rikus Pretorius saw yellow for a deliberate knock on and Zeilinga made it an 18-point margin from the tee, before Venter and Horn exchanged tries in the closing stages – the latter earning his side a bonus point.