Cape Town - Former Stormers and Springbok centre Juan de Jongh has shared the first photos of his baby girl born last week.
Juan and his fiancée, Simone Lourens, are based in Coventry, England, where he plays club rugby for the Wasps.
Juan shared a picture on Instagram of him and his "princess," Emily, with his 52 000 followers. The 30-year-old captioned it: "Thank you everyone for welcoming my princess into the world – really appreciate all the love and messages."
Simone told YOU she and Juan had taken "hours" to decide on Emily’s name. "It means hard-working, creative and brave – which is what Juan thinks he is," Simone (also 30) says.
"Juan is already a wonderful dad to Emily," she tells us. "Thanks to Juan’s ambition and hardworking nature, Emily will never have to look far for a role model."
"If she inherited all Juan’s energy, Emily will certainly have to be active – from cycling to golfing. We’ll leave the rugby for now," she smiles.
Juan popped the question in September last year in the UK town Royal Leamington Spa.
He’s already singing Simone’s praises as a mom.
"Simone will be an extremely loving mom to Emily and will always put Emily’s needs first. She’ll support our daughter in anything she chooses to tackle in life," he says. "Simone will protect her against any harm, physically or emotionally."
"I’ve no doubt Emily’s fashion style will always be on trend," he jokes.
Juan and Simone moved to Coventry, about 155km north-west of London, in 2017 when the former Springbok decided it was time to broaden his rugby horizons. He’s just extended his contract with the Wasps, so his daughter will be spending her first few years in England.
"It’s a privilege that the Wasps want to invest in Juan’s future again," Simone says. "We’re not planning too far ahead, choosing to take it year by year. But for now, Emily will be in the UK for her first few years."
Though the couple have adapted to the northern hemisphere’s colder climate, Simone says the Boland, where she and Juan hail from, will remain part of their life. Juan is from Wellington and she’s from Paarl.
"We definitely miss the 40 degrees heat of the Boland but we had to get used to the snow, rain and cold quickly."
"We miss the natural beauty of the Boland, but the UK’s historical buildings are definitely something. We’ve made many friends here but still miss our friends and family back home," she says.