Free Stater makes Team of the Decade

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Bismarck du Plessis against England at Ellis Park in Johannesburg. His brother Jannie du Plessis (left) is running in support. PHOTO: GETTY

Three Springbok greats were named in the World Rugby Team of the Decade announced by the global governing body on Tuesday.

The prestigious list included the tighthead prop, Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira, the winger, Bryan Habana and the Free State born-and-bred hooker, Bismarck du Plessis.

The 36-year-old Du Plessis was born in Bethlehem and schooled at the powerhouse of school rugby, Grey College. He represented the University of the Free State Shimlas and the Free State in a few games before heading to the Sharks, where he made a name for himself as a player.

During his international career, Du Plessis earned 79 caps for the Springboks. He was also part of the Bok team that won the World Cup in 2007.

He is currently plying his trade at Montpellier in France, and earlier in the year indicated that he wouldn’t mind finishing his playing career in the Free State.

Team of the Decade – 15 Ben Smith (New Zealand), 14 George North (Wales), 13 Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland), 12 Ma’a Nonu (New Zealand), 11 Bryan Habana (South Africa), 10 Dan Carter (New Zealand), 9 Conor Murray (Ireland) 8 Sergio Parisse (Italy), 7 Richie McCaw (New Zealand), 6 David Pocock (Australia), 5 Sam Whitelock (New Zealand), 4 Brode Retallick (New Zealand), 3 Owen Franks (New Zealand), 2 Bismarck du Plessis (South Africa), 1 Tendai Mtawarira (South Africa). – MORGAN PIEK