Bismarck du Plessis
Having spent the most part of his career playing second fiddle to John Smit, Du Plessis made a big impression in 2008.
Last Updated: 15/05/09 10:07am
Du Plessis wore the number two jersey for five consecutive Tests in 2008 after Smit was injured.
He is regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in the country, a tribute both to his tremendous ability and the long term benefit of a masterclass under Smit at both the Sharks and South Africa.
Du Plessis is the complete hooker, executing the core duties consistently well, while adding that bit extra around the park that sets him apart. His throwing at line-out time is a not as accurate as Smit, but he is a very strong scrummager. For a powerful runner, he is also very mobile, which means he is seldom far from the contact point.
Du Plessis was part of the World Cup-winning squad in 2007, displacing Gary Botha as the back-up to Smit. He made a brief appearance during the second half of the World Cup final as a replacement.