Find out about the South African utility forward who is a star at Toulouse. By Jon Cardinelli
Who is Rynhardt Elstadt: Ten things you should know about the Springboks forward
He may have been a latecomer to the international stage – he was 29 when he made his South Africa debut – but Rynhardt Elstadt has achieved plenty of success in his career.
Ten things you should know about Rynhardt Elstadt
1. Rynhardt Elstadt was born on 20 December 1989.
2. Elstadt went to school in Montagu in the Western Cape.
He represented the Junior Boks and was later recruited to play for Stellenbosch in the 2010 Varsity Cup.
3. In 2010, Western Province director of rugby Rassie Erasmus described Elstadt as a younger version of legendary Springbok enforcer Bakkies Botha.
Elstadt was backed to start for WP during the 2010 season and he made his Super Rugby debut for the Stormers in 2011.
4. The 6ft 6in (1.98m), 18st 12lb (120kg) utility forward was used at lock and blindside flank during his eight-year stint in Cape Town.
Western Province won two Currie Cup titles (2012 and 2014) during that period.
5. In 2017, Elstadt – as well as Stormers team-mate Cheslin Kolbe – opted to further his career with French club Toulouse.
6. Two years later, the rugged South African – playing almost exclusively at flanker – starred for the Toulouse side that won the Top 14.
7. Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus called up Elstadt ahead of the 2019 Test season, and gave the player his first Test cap when the Boks played Australia at Ellis Park.
South Africa claimed a bonus-point win against the Wallabies and later went on to win the Rugby Championship title.
8. Later that year, Elstadt attended a training camp ahead of the 31-man Rugby World Cup squad announcement.
While the Toulouse star narrowly missed out on selection – and was subsequently described as the ‘32nd man’ – he was placed on standby in the event of injuries in Japan.
9. Elstadt – who speaks Afrikaans as a first language and English as a second – has worked hard to learn French over the past few years.
In late 2019, Elstadt was asked to serve as an interpreter when Romain Ntamack and himself were interviewed by broadcasters after a big win over Gloucester.
10. In 2021, Toulouse beat La Rochelle in the grand final to claim their first European Champions Cup title in 11 years. Elstadt celebrated the famous victory by hoisting the diminutive Kolbe onto his shoulders.
A few weeks later they beat the same opposition to win the Top 14 title.
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