A palpably distraught Lions chief, Rudolf Straeuli, on Wednesday confirmed that the one-year-old son of former Springbok forward Jannie du Plessis had died in a drowning accident on Tuesday.
The tragedy happened on the same day Du Plessis marked his 39th birthday.
"We, as a Lions family, aren't doing well," Straeuli told Sport24.
"I can confirm that this tragedy took place. We are all devastated."
The circumstances surrounding the child's death had not been confirmed yet, with Straeuli, the Lions' chief executive, pleading with the broader community to respect the family's privacy.
Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela confirmed to News24 that police were investigating an inquest docket after the toddler drowned in a swimming pool on Tuesday.
Du Plessis joined the Lions as an experienced veteran tasked with helping to groom a burgeoning group of young props at Ellis Park at the end of 2019, while still featuring on the field as well.
He was part of Jake White's 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning squad.
This is a developing story.
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