Rookie Hurricanes loose forward Du’Plessis Kirifi is used to being asked about his name.
It happens more often than not.
“A lot of people struggle to say it at first,” he explains.
“Pretty much, the old man [Jack] played a bit of footy in the day and came across a guy named Morne Du’Plessis and liked the name or him so much he wanted to name his first born boy after him.
“But I don’t mind it, it’s a good name.”
Morne Du’Plessis is regarded as one of the finest Springbok captains having led the side between 1975 and 1980.
South Africa is a far cry from New Plymouth where Kirifi grew up, initially kicking a football around before switching codes to rugby.
Another Hurricanes player to be educated of Francis Douglas Memorial College, Kirifi has seen a few former class mates graduate to Super Rugby.
“It’s awesome to see boys you grew up with do really well and it’s a bit of a motivator as well, you want to catch up as fast as you can.”
A specialist openside flanker, Kirifi initially made his first class debut for Waikato in the Mitre 10 Cup before moving south to the Wellington Lions where his performances convinced the Hurricanes coaching staff to get him on board,
“Growing up in the ‘Naki, the Hurricanes are a team you always look up to and I grew up running around pretending to be Jonah Lomu or Tana Umaga so to be here, it’s a real privilege,” he said.
“I just want to work as hard as I can and make every post a winner, really.”
He did that in his Hurricanes debut, scoring the winning try as the side grafted hard for a one-point win over the Waratahs in Sydney.
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Adults from $28.50. 1 Adult + 1 Child in the Bluebridge Family Zone just $30.
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