NOLA Gold’s JP Du Plessis (Phillipus Jacobus Snyman ‘JP’ Du Plessis) signed a contract extension through the 2026 Major League Rugby season. The 32-year-old center (33 in April) is 6’1″ and 220 lbs.
JP played 1181 minutes in 15 starts, scored 7 tries, and was 4th in MLR in ball carries with 153 in 2023. He has an 85% tackle percentage and is in the top 20 in ruck entries.
In 2022 JP played 1188 minutes in 16 matches, starting 15, and scored 2 tries and in 2021 played 1066 minutes in 16 matches, starting 15, and scored 2 tries with NOLA Gold in 2021.
He spent three seasons with San Diego Legion and in 2020 played 251 minutes in 4 starts, and scored 2 tries. In 2019 he was the MLR Back of the Year and played 1257 minutes in 17 of 18 matches, including the MLR Shield Final. He had 155 carries, 7 tries, and made 213 tackles. In 2018 he played 396 minutes in the 5 matches that he started.
He is from Kroonstad, South Africa, and attended Reitz School where he began playing rugby union before switching to Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch from 2007-09, majoring in Business/Commerce.
While at Paul Roos he played rugby with Western Province Academy, playing with the Under-16s in Grant Khomo Week in 2007 and with the Under-18s for Craven Week in 2009. The latter led to his selection to the National 2009 South African Schools team.
In 2010 he played rugby league for the Sydney Roosters, representing the Under-20s in the 2010 Toyota Cup.
In 2011 he played with the Super Rugby Melbourne Rebels and Western Province with the Under-21s in the Provincial Championship. In 2012 he played with, Western Province in the 2012 Currie Cup and also with the Super Rugby Stormers.
He moved to France in 2013 to play with the Top 14 team Montpellier, but after one match, a knee injury curtailed his season. During the 2014-15 season, he played with the Free State Cheetahs and with Free State XV in the 2015 Vodacom Cup. He then played with the Eastern Province Kings and the Southern Kings.
Du Plessis joined the San Diego Legion after the MLR season began in 2018. He immediately helped the team as they advanced to the MLR Semifinals. He was a pivotal contributor to the team going to the MLR Shield Final in 2019 and helped the team jump out to an undefeated 5-0 season during the truncated 2020 season due to COVID-19.