Biography: Damian Willemse is a South African rugby union player who plays for the Springboks and the Stormers in the United Rugby Championship and Western Province in the Currie Cup. His regular position is fullback, but he can also play as a fly-half, winger, or inside centre. He is part of the Springbok team that reached the 2023 World Cup final against New Zealand.
Damian Willemse Early Life and Education
Damian Willemse was born on 7 May 1998 in Strand, a seaside town in the Western Cape. He has a brother, Ramone Samuels, who is also a professional rugby player. He attended Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch, where he excelled in rugby and cricket. Damian also has a commerce degree from Milpark Education.
Damian started his rugby career at the age of 16, representing Western Province at the Under-16 Grant Khomo Week in 2014. He then played for the Western Province Craven Week team in 2015 and 2016, scoring several tries and helping his team win the unofficial final in both years. He also earned a call-up to the South Africa Schools team in 2015 and 2016, playing in the Under-18 International Series against Wales, France and England.
In 2017, Damian made his senior debut for the Stormers in the Super Rugby, becoming the youngest player to do so at the age of 18. He also played for Western Province in the Currie Cup, winning the title in 2017 and 2022. In 2019, he joined the English club Saracens on a short-term loan, playing in two matches.
Damian made his international debut for South Africa in 2018, playing as a fly-half against Argentina in the Rugby Championship. He was also part of the South Africa Under-20 team that competed in the World Rugby Under-20 Championship in 2017 and 2018.
Damian Willemse In The 2019 Japan World Cup
Damian was not initially named in South Africa’s squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. He joined the team as a late injury replacement for Jesse Kriel, arriving in Japan on 3 October 2019. He played one game at the tournament, starting at full-back in the pool game against Canada on 8 October 2019. Damian scored a try – his first at Test level – and helped his team to a 66-7 victory. He picked up a World Cup winner’s medal after South Africa beat England 32-12 in the final on 2 November 2019.
Damian Willemse In The 2023 France World Cup
He was part of the Springbok team that reached the final against New Zealand after beating England in the semi-final. He played as a fullback, fly-half, and winger in different games, showing his versatility and skills. Damian Willemse made some brave and smart decisions on the field, such as calling for a scrum in his own. He became the youngest player to win two World Cup titles at the age of 25. He celebrated the victory with his teammates and fans, wearing his full kit for days and a cheeky tattoo.
Willemse is in a relationship with Mia du Toit, an accounting student. They support each other in their careers and often share pictures of themselves on social media.
- Rugby World Cup 2023: Full results and standings – Olympics
- Super Rugby review, Round 1: Damian Willemse shines as Stormers and Lions get off to winning start – The Telegraph
- Damian Willemse surprised to be a Springbok at 20 – Planet Rugby
- Who is Damian Willemse: Ten things you should know about the Springbok – Rugby Union
- “It Even Jiggles”: Mzansi Drools As Springboks Player Damian Willemse Gets New Tattoo On His Nyash – iHarare