The powerful centre, Dries Swanepoel, has returned to Bloemfontein after leaving for Pretoria straight after school. The former Grey College headboy and 1st XV captain, was named in the South African Schools side in 2011 along with the Springbok, Jan Serfontein. The pair formed formidable centre combination during school, and left the Free State together to join the Bulls.
Swanepoel also represented the Junior Springboks at the 2013 World Rugby Junior World Championships. At the Bulls he played Currie Cup and Super Rugby as well as Varsity Cup rugby for the University of Pretoria Tuks. In 2018 he was named as a load player for the Irish outfit, Munster, in the Guinness Pro14. This was in order to help with the injury crises towards the backend of the competition.
When Munster came to play against the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein, Swanepoel, was training with the team in South Africa, however, was never available for selection.
Swanepoel is regarded by many as the ideal replacement for the former captain, Francois Venter, who ironically followed the same path after school.
Swanepoel’s stay at the Cheetahs was met with an early setback when the player picked up a serious shoulder injury early in the Currie Cup campaign.
This led to him only make his debut in the PRO14 towards the backend of the competition.
Swanepoel became the number one choice player in the number 12 jersey when Nico Lee received a heavy 13-week suspension.