Name: Pierre Johan
Born: 8 June 1985
Place of Birth: Pretoria
Weight: 107 kg
Springbok Position: 8th man
Super 12 Debut: 2005 vs Highlanders (Dunedin)
Springbok Debut: 2006 vs Australia (Brisbane)
Primary School: Skuilkrans, Pretoria
High School: Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool (AFFIES),
Marital status: Married to Juanné
Parents: Former Springbok athlete Pierre Spies and mother Deirdre
Siblings: Sisters Johanni and Steffani
Springbok number: 777
Test debut: 15 July 2006 vs Australia in Brisbane, aged 21
Last test: 9 October 2011 vs Australia in Wellington, aged 26
Total tests : 47
Total Springbok matches: 47
Win ratio: 31-16-0
Holds Springbok record for most tries as a No 8 (7) and shares record with Gary Teichmann for most capped Springbok No 8 (42)
Tours: Ireland & England, 2006; British Isles, 2008; British Isles & Ireland, 2010; RWC in New Zealand, 2011.
Honours: SA Rugby Player of the Year nominee, 2006; Young SA Rugby Player of the Year, 2006.
Pierre Spies is a young man with the potential for excellence and the willpower to achieve it. This has been evident in his life from a very young age. Already in primary school he displayed prowess in sport and the character of a leader, when he was elected as the headboy of Skuilkrans Primary School in Pretoria. He competed and excelled in a variety of sport activities including athletics, swimming, tennis, rugby and cricket, the latter for which he achieved provincial colours (Northern Province).
Pierre attended the well-known Pretoria Afrikaans Hoër Seunskool, (Afrikaans Boys High School) fondly known as “Affies”. It was during his years in High School that his proficiency in sport became prevalent. He continued to stand out in rugby, cricket and athletics, but also added water polo to his repertoire of sporting activities. He secured a place in the u16 Blue Bulls rugby team in 2001 when he was in Grade 10, along with his friend, Chiliboy Ralapela, today, likewise a member of the Springbok rugby team. That same year he was also selected for the award-winning ‘Affies’ Boys Choir.
Then, in 2002 Pierre played lock for the Craven Week team and received the "Beeld Man of the Match" Award for the second consecutive year. He also ended fourth in the National Championships for under seventeens discus throwing. In his matric year (2003) he surpassed himself by excelling not only in rugby, but also in both track and field events in athletics. He captained the Craven Week rugby team in the position as 8th man, became the under twenties discus champion of South Africa, ranked third in the country for shot-put, thus qualifying for the Junior World Championships and ran the 100 meter sprint in an astonishing 10.7 seconds.
After school Pierre attended the University of Pretoria and completed his first year in B.Sc Construction Management, but tragedy struck in October that year, when his father, former Northern Transvaal rugby player and Springbok athlete, passed away. When Pierre pulled the Springbok Rugby jersey over his head for the first time shortly thereafter, playing for the u19 team, it was a bitter-sweet moment for the family. The absence and loss of Pierre Snr. was felt particularly, as he would have no-doubt been very proud of seeing his son attain Springbok status.
The following year, only nineteen years old, Pierre made his Super 12 debut as the youngest rugby player ever, to play for the Bulls and what a debut he made, scoring nine tries in only six games as the u21 wing. The doors swung wide open for Pierre, welcoming him into the world of professional South African rugby, in 2006. He played for his country at the World Cup in France in the u21 team and thereafter, ran onto the field for the National Team on the 15th of July against Australia in Brisbane, during the Tri-Nations Series.
The country fell into shock when Pierre was diagnosed later that same year, with blood clots in his lungs and subsequently had to withdraw from the team that went on the win the 2007 Rugby World Cup. While being in treatment and under the watchful eye of the team’s physicians, Pierre kept on training and as soon as he received the green light, he was back onto the field. That year he was nominated SA Currie Cup Player of the Year, SA Player of the Year, International Player of the Year and got the award for SA’s most Promising Player of the Year, as well as Sportsman of the Year. He played more test matches than Currie Cup games..
Although the name Pierre Spies is to South Africans and rugby fans all over the world, synonymous with competence on the sport field, it is clear that this young athlete is known for more than that. Inundated with invitations to appear as guest speaker, Pierre uses every opportunity to inspire young and old, not with talk of sport, but of life, faith, family and love. He married the girl of his dreams, Juanné, in December 2008 and their dedication to Christ and Christian values, serve as an example to young and old alike.