Bok star Eben Etzebeth to cap memorable week by getting married: 'My biggest achievement'

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Eben Etzebeth poses with his SA Rugby Player of the Year trophy at SARU House in Plattekloof on 31 January 2023. (Photo: Herman Mostert)
Eben Etzebeth poses with his SA Rugby Player of the Year trophy at SARU House in Plattekloof on 31 January 2023. (Photo: Herman Mostert)
  • Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth says winning the SA Rugby Player of the Year accolade is "special".
  • Tuesday's honour is extra special for the Bok enforcer as he's also getting married this weekend.
  • Etzebeth's Bok team-mate, prop Frans Malherbe, is also tying the knot on Saturday.

New SA Rugby Player of the Year, Eben Etzebeth, will cap a memorable week when he marries Anlia van Rensburg on Saturday.

The Springbok lock was on Tuesday crowned the country's best rugby player for 2022 after yet another stellar season in the Green and Gold.

In July last year, Etzebeth became the seventh Springbok to play 100 Tests for South Africa, and he put in a massive performance to help his side to a 30-14 win over Wales in the deciding third Test at Cape Town Stadium. 

A huge structure with the words 'Eben 100' was wheeled out onto the turf and set ablaze when Etzebeth ran out before his fiancée, Van Rensburg, brought the house down by singing the national anthem

After receiving his Player of the Year award at SARU House in Plattekloof on Tuesday, Etzebeth told reporters it was extra special as he's also getting married on Saturday.

"It's obviously a privilege, I looked at the names on the trophy and there's some wonderful individuals on there. But it's a team sport and also well done to the other nominees, I think they were all fantastic.

"There are so many other guys who don't always get recognised but it's nice to win this trophy for the first time.

"I got engaged last year and I'm getting married this Saturday... that's probably my biggest achievement yet, getting the best trophy I can get," he said.

Tuesday's award, along with last season's heroics, capped a memorable period for the Bok enforcer, who recently moved from Toulon in France to join the Sharks in Durban.

"Getting my 100th [cap] with Anlia singing the national anthem that day was special. Also to have my family and her family there was special... and now this trophy, it's special getting recognised as an individual. [But] it's a team sport and you always put the team first and want the team to do well."

Anlia van Rensburg sings the South African nationa
Anlia van Rensburg sings the South African national anthem (Gallo)
Gallo Images

In line with Springbok resting protocol, Etzebeth will be a taking a break from his Sharks duties for the next few weeks.

"I can't believe the wedding is this Saturday. It's also nice to have some off time. We're going to relax after that.

"The last couple of months have been hectic, moving back from France. Our rugby schedules are very busy and [we] had to find a place in Durban and settling down... and in between trying to plan a wedding.

"So, it's going to be nice to finally marry the woman of my dreams this coming Saturday and then after that just enjoying some quality time alone with her."

Etzebeth revealed that his Springbok team-mate, Frans Malherbe, is also getting married this Saturday.

He said he instructed Bok skipper, Siya Kolisi, to set up a video call so the two friends can have a chat.

"Siya is at my wedding and Scarra (Ntubeni) at his. It told Siya they have to video call each other at some stage during the evening and then just give the phones to me and Frans to we can congratulate each other.

"The opportunity was there for us to get married this weekend so both of us could have a nice honeymoon. We would definitely have been at each other's weddings but I wish him all of the best, he's also found a wonderful wife and I know they'll be very happy."

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