Who is Andre-Hugo Venter? Bok newbie dating Rassie’s daughter

The Springboks are in for a blockbuster 2024 season, with the latest squad revealed by Rassie Erasmus featuring as many as 11 uncapped players, including Andre-Hugo Venter.

Of course, it is an inclusion that has grabbed some headlines due to a rather unusual scenario as the 22-year-old happens to be dating Erasmus’ daughter Nikkie.

Yet, any keyboard warriors who might be spewing suggestions of ‘nepotism’ could not be further from the mark.

The talented hooker has enjoyed a standout season for the Stormers, and in fact ended the URC season ranked 34th on the URC Top 100 player rankings. It’s a system that combines performances across the United Rugby Championship and EPCR competitions..

The abrasive forward has rugby genes in his blood, with his father Andre Venter having enjoyed an illustrious Springbok career, but his son is now rightfully blazing his own trail.

Ultimately, the fact that Venter has often been picked ahead of Springbok hooker Joseph Dweba at the Stormers, speaks volumes about his ability.

“To be honest, it’s mostly thanks to the team and the coaches for giving me the chance to play – and then there is pressure on me to play well and so on,” André-Hugo said during a recent interview.

“With regards to my dad, he hasn’t put any pressure on me, actually. All the pressure from his side is more on the academic side.

“So, just really privileged to have been spotted by the coaching staff a few years ago at Maties, and being able to get the chance to play and represent the union. It makes me proud to represent a special union, and you can see that most of the guys don’t really want to leave this place.

“To be honest, I think I am in the right space, and there is not a lot of pressure on me, bearing the Venter name. It’s really humbling (to be invited to the Bok camp), but you are only as good as your last game.”

Andre-Hugo Venter is going places

The talented youngster has specialised at hooker ever since U14 level, having previously played a bit of loose forward at school

It now remains to be seen whether he will remain part of the Springbok planning beyond the season-opener against Wales, but there is no doubt that the Springboks do need to begin building more depth at hooker.

*What do you think of Venter’s selection? Let us know by leaving a comment at the end of this article.

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Forwards: Phepsi Buthelezi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Joseph Dweba, Ben-Jason Dixon (both DHL Stormers), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz), Eben Etzebeth (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Neethling Fouche (DHL Stormers), Vincent Koch (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Celimpilo Gumede (Bulls), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears), Bongi Mbonambi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Ntuthuko Mchunu (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Salmaan Moerat (DHL Stormers), Franco Mostert (Honda Heat), Ox Nche (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Evan Roos (DHL Stormers), Kwagga Smith (Blu Revs), Andre-Hugo Venter (DHL Stormers), Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers).

Backs: Damian de Allende (Panasonic Wild Knights), Faf de Klerk (Canon Eagles), Andre Esterhuizen (Harlequins), Aphelele Fassi (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Jordan Hendrikse (Emirates Lions), Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu (DHL Stormers), Ethan Hooker (Hollywoodbets Sharks), Quan Horn (Emirates Lions), Jesse Kriel (Canon Eagles), Manie Libbok (DHL Stormers), Makazole Mapimpi, Siya Masuku (both Hollywoodbets Sharks), Handre Pollard (Leicester Tigers), Morne van den Berg (Emirates Lions), Edwill van der Merwe (Emirates Lions), Grant Williams (Hollywoodbets Sharks).

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