Franco Mostert
Full names: Francois John
Date of birth: 27 Nov 1990
Place of birth: Welkom
School: Brits
Springbok no: 872
Debut test province: Lions
Physical: 1.98m, 103kg
Current age: 33

Test summary: Tests: 74 Tries: 3
First Test: 18 Jun 2016 Age:25 Reserve against Ireland at Ellispark, Johannesburg
Last Test: 22 Jun 2024 Age:33 Lock against Wales at Twickenham, London
Test history:
18 Jun 201625ReserveIrelandWin: 32-26 Ellispark, JohannesburgLions
25 Jun 201625ReserveIrelandWin: 19-13 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethLions
10 Sep 201625ReserveAustraliaLose: 17-23 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneLions
17 Sep 201625ReserveNew ZealandLose: 13-41 AMI Stadium (Rugby League Park), ChristchurchLions
12 Nov 201625ReserveEnglandLose: 21-37 Twickenham, LondonRicoh
19 Nov 201625ReserveItalyLose: 18-20 Stadio Artemio Franchi, FlorenceRicoh
26 Nov 201625ReserveWalesLose: 13-27 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffRicoh
10 Jun 201726LockFranceWin: 37-14 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaLions
17 Jun 201726LockFranceWin: 37-15 Kingspark, DurbanLions
24 Jun 201726LockFranceWin: 35-12 Ellispark, JohannesburgLions
19 Aug 201726LockArgentinaWin: 37-15 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethLions
26 Aug 201726LockArgentinaWin: 41-23 Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, SaltaLions
16 Sep 201726LockNew ZealandLose: 0-57 North Harbour Stadium, North Shore CityLions
30 Sep 201726LockAustraliaDraw: 27-27 Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinLions
07 Oct 201726ReserveNew ZealandLose: 24-25 Newlands, Cape TownLions
11 Nov 201726ReserveIrelandLose: 3-38 Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), DublinLions
18 Nov 201726ReserveFranceWin: 18-17 Stade de France, ParisLions
25 Nov 201726ReserveItalyWin: 35-61 tryStadio Euganeo, PaduaLions
09 Jun 201827LockEnglandWin: 42-39 Ellispark, JohannesburgLions
16 Jun 201827LockEnglandWin: 23-12 Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinLions
23 Jun 201827LockEnglandLose: 10-25 Newlands, Cape TownLions
25 Aug 201827LockArgentinaLose: 19-32 Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, MendozaLions
08 Sep 201827LockAustraliaLose: 18-23 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneLions
15 Sep 201827LockNew ZealandWin: 36-34 WestPac Stadium, WellingtonLions
29 Sep 201827LockAustraliaWin: 23-12 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethLions
06 Oct 201827LockNew ZealandLose: 30-32 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaLions
10 Nov 201827LockFranceWin: 29-26 Stade de France, ParisLions
17 Nov 201827LockScotlandWin: 26-20 Murrayfield, EdinburghLions
24 Nov 201827LockWalesLose: 11-20 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffLions
27 Jul 201928LockNew ZealandDraw: 16-16 WestPac Stadium, WellingtonGloucester
10 Aug 201928LockArgentinaWin: 46-13 Estadio Padre Ernesto Martearena, SaltaGloucester
06 Sep 201928LockJapanWin: 41-7 Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, SaitamaGloucester
21 Sep 201928LockNew ZealandLose: 13-23 International Stadium Yokohama, YokohamaGloucester
28 Sep 201928ReserveNamibiaWin: 57-3 Toyota Stadium, AichiGloucester
04 Oct 201928ReserveItalyWin: 49-3 Shizuoka Stadium, FukuroiGloucester
08 Oct 201928LockCanadaWin: 66-7 Noevir Stadium, KobeGloucester
20 Oct 201928ReserveJapanWin: 26-3 Tokyo Stadium, Chofu, TokyoGloucester
27 Oct 201928ReserveWalesWin: 19-16 International Stadium Yokohama, YokohamaGloucester
02 Nov 201928ReserveEnglandWin: 32-12 International Stadium Yokohama, YokohamaGloucester
02 Jul 202130LockGeorgiaWin: 40-9 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaHonda
24 Jul 202130LockBritainLose: 17-22 Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownHonda
31 Jul 202130LockBritainWin: 27-9 Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownHonda
07 Aug 202130FlankBritainWin: 19-16 Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownHonda
21 Aug 202130FlankArgentinaWin: 29-10 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethHonda
12 Sep 202130FlankAustraliaLose: 26-28 Robina Stadium, Gold CoastHonda
18 Sep 202130FlankAustraliaLose: 17-30 Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park), BrisbaneHonda
25 Sep 202130ReserveNew ZealandLose: 17-19 North Queensland Stadium, TownsvilleHonda
02 Oct 202130ReserveNew ZealandWin: 31-29 Robina Stadium, Gold CoastHonda
06 Nov 202130ReserveWalesWin: 23-18 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffHonda
13 Nov 202130LockScotlandWin: 30-15 Murrayfield, EdinburghHonda
20 Nov 202130ReserveEnglandLose: 26-27 Twickenham, LondonHonda
02 Jul 202231FlankWalesWin: 32-29 Loftus Versfeld, PretoriaHonda
16 Jul 202231ReserveWalesWin: 30-14 Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownHonda
06 Aug 202231ReserveNew ZealandWin: 26-10 Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitHonda
13 Aug 202231ReserveNew ZealandLose: 23-35 Ellispark, JohannesburgHonda
27 Aug 202231ReserveAustraliaLose: 17-25 Adelaide Oval, AdelaideHonda
03 Sep 202231FlankAustraliaWin: 24-81 trySydney Football Stadium (Aussie stadium), SydneyHonda
17 Sep 202231FlankArgentinaWin: 36-20 Estadio Libertadores de America, Buenos AiresHonda
24 Sep 202231ReserveArgentinaWin: 38-21 Kingspark, DurbanHonda
05 Nov 202231ReserveIrelandLose: 16-191 tryAviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), DublinHonda
12 Nov 202231LockFranceLose: 26-30 Stade Velodrome, MarseillesHonda
19 Nov 202231FlankItalyWin: 63-21 Luigi Ferraris Stadium, GenoaHonda
26 Nov 202231FlankEnglandWin: 27-13 Twickenham, LondonHonda
15 Jul 202332FlankNew ZealandLose: 20-35 Mount Smart Stadium, AucklandHonda
05 Aug 202332FlankArgentinaWin: 24-13 Velez Sarsfield Stadium, Buenos AiresHonda
19 Aug 202332ReserveWalesWin: 52-16 Millenium Stadium (Cardiff Arms Park), CardiffHonda
25 Aug 202332LockNew ZealandWin: 35-7 Twickenham, LondonHonda
10 Sep 202332LockScotlandWin: 18-3 Stade Velodrome, MarseillesHonda
23 Sep 202332LockIrelandLose: 8-13 Stade de France, ParisHonda
01 Oct 202332ReserveTongaWin: 49-18 Stade Velodrome, MarseillesHonda
15 Oct 202332LockFranceWin: 29-28 Stade de France, ParisHonda
21 Oct 202332LockEnglandWin: 16-15 Stade de France, ParisHonda
28 Oct 202332LockNew ZealandWin: 12-11 Stade de France, ParisHonda
22 Jun 202433LockWalesWin: 41-13 Twickenham, LondonHonda

INSIDER: Franco Mostert : Brenden Nel

It isn’t hard to miss Franco Mostert in a game.

He isn’t flashy. But there are few players worldwide that possess the work ethic and workrate that he does, who consistently produces exceptional performances, but also goes under the radar when it comes to accolades.

Much like Danie Rossouw, who was the backbone of the 2007 World Cup side and an unsung hero in a team full of them, Mostert has carved out a reputation for being a workhorse, a player teams can’t do without. Ask any coach who has coached him before and they will tell you, there are few players who come close.

But his story is often one that doesn’t see the limelight. Where several of his team-mates win man-of-the-match awards, get written up by local and foreign media and find their way into teams across the world, Mostert just carries on. He knows only one way, and that is to put his head down and grind.

A perfect example of this was against the British and Irish Lions. While his colleague Eben Etzebeth became a focus of the media, Mostert simply carried his weight and did his job. Not surprisingly to those who watch closely but by the end of the test series Mostert had racked up a massive 42 tackles in the tests, Etzebeth 26. To make it more impressive was that he didn’t play 80 minutes of every game in the series either.

But it is just another example of a player who had to overcome adversity, fight his way for every place in every team and took the long, hard road to the top.

It may surprise you that Mostert was never a Craven Week player, never excelled for the top schools and spent his time in Brits, having been born in Welkom. He actually doubted becoming a rugby player when he was younger, and had to choose in high school between golf and rugby.

His father Francois, played for Free State and his older brother JP was the Craven Week captain for North West and later the captain for the Valke. So despite the love for golf perhaps it never really was a choice after all. Saying that, Mostert still loves the golf course, playing off a 3 handicap and spends much of his free time chasing the tiny ball around.

His break came when Werner de Beer, one of the Bulls scouts, asked him to come for a trial at Tuks, where Nollis Marais was coaching.

“He came from Brits and Werner said he had potential. He was a skinny lad but we let him play in a trial match against the under-21 side and immediately it showed that he had an amazing work-rate. I could see this guy would develop into a real good player,” Marais told SuperSport.

Mostert made his mark in the Varsity Cup for Tuks, scoring a try in the 2012 final by showing pace. Clayton Blommetjies took an up and under on attack and offloaded to a flying Mostert, whose try under the posts capped an exceptional win for Tuks over their old foes Maties.

“Franco was the heart and soul of that match. The speed he showed in outsprinting the Maties defence won the game for us. He was such an influential player, and always lead from the front. He was always the guy to ignite the fire. If someone had to go hard, Sous was that guy. You can always bargain on him playing 80 minutes.”

Strangely though, after moving up to the Bulls under-21 side, Mostert was put on the transfer list by then high-performance manager Xander Janse van Rensburg, along with several others that would go on to make their name at the Lions and beyond.

Lions coach Johan Ackermann had just taken over, and when he was scouting for players, couldn’t believe his luck when he saw Mostert’s name on the transfer list. He immediately snapped him up.

“He stood out immediately when I saw him play for Tuks,” Ackermann told, “He was this player that never seemed to give up. When I saw his name on the Bulls list, I told my CEO I can’t believe they’re letting this guy go.

“I realised after working with him how hungry he is to succeed and how hard work was everything to him.”

But just as his career was starting at the Lions, disaster struck. Mostert was involved in a car accident and broke his hip bone. The doctor told him he may not play rugby again and his life crashed in a single moment.

“It was a bit tough for me, at the beginning of the year we played the Lions challenge and I got the weekend off and went home to North West. I got into a car accident and broke my hip. I was out for 9 months. It was tough because we were back in Super Rugby in 2014, and I had to work very hard to get back in time to play,” Mostert explains.

At first he didn’t think he was injured, but the day after the accident he couldn’t stand up. His father Francois immediately rushed him to hospital.

“The doctor told my father i had to have immediate surgery my father looked at him asked is he going to play rugby again. The doctor looked at him and said no. There were lots of tears running down my face and I believed all my dreams were running away,” he said.

The Lions coaches brought in a specialist, and transferred Mostert to Fourways hospital, where it was decided they wouldn’t operate but that he would have to lay in traction.

“I had tears of joy, especially when you think someone told you you were finished with rugby. I can’t describe what goes through your hear. I knew it would be a hard road to come back and learn to walk again. It was hard and it took me six months to sit up straight again.”

When Mostert returned he ran with a limp, but slowly worked his way back into the side and never looked back. He eventually won his first Springbok cap in 2016, coming on as a reserve against Ireland in a 32-26 victory.

“One of the things that sets him apart is his drive. In 2015, I dropped him for a game and I could see he wasn’t happy. He wanted to talk to me about it but he didn’t seem to know how. When he got the chance again he made a point and proved me wrong, showed that hunger again and easily got his place back in the team,” his then-Lions coach Ackermann recalls.

“I wasn’t surprised when he became a Springbok and since then he has been indispensable to the national team.”

Another setback hit Mostert’s family when his older brother JP was heading to a bachelor party with a friend, who was driving, and had a car accident, breaking his neck and being paralysed from the waist down. Mostert took it hard and became even more determined to play his heart out, for his brother and family.

“I’m playing for him now,” he told Huisgenoot in an article shortly after JP’s car accident.

“His brother’s accident had a massive effect on him,” Ackermann recalls. “The fact that JP fights as well to try and walk again, it seems that the fight is in the Mosterts’ genes. They can’t give up. France hasn’t got a scared hair on his body. Every time we were behind and got back into the changeroom, he was always the most positive guy.”

“It’s something amazing to see, to see a player so passionate about his game, and his family and how they have handled all the setbacks. To handle that and deliver consistently impressive performances says a lot about him.”

Ackermann recalls that one unique feature about Mostert, is the way he prepares for a game. While other players do individual warm-ups before a match before the team runs its lines out on the field, Mostert was always the last player to get onto the field.

“He would literally sit until a minute before the conditioning coach called the team together to run their warm-ups. I was amazed. I would see him sitting peacefully in the changeroom, doing his strapping, but I never saw him stretch. I’ve never seen players that can go out without stretching and simply play like that,” Ackermann said.

“He’s a great guy. I don’t think there is a player that doesn’t have respect for him and love for what he means for every team he plays in.”

This sentiment was echoed by both Marais and Ackermann’s assistant coach and later Lions coach Swys de Bruin.

“He is a hard-working guy. Everytime he plays he gives everything he has got. He is never injured. You know every week when you pick a side you pick him first. He plays for 80 minutes, he never gives up,” Marais said.

“The tougher it goes, the tougher he gets. He can soak up pressure and apply it like nobody else. He’s got quite an engine, he never stops.”

“A forward leader, a grinder. The guys respect him so much,” says his former Lions coach Swys de Bruin.

“Sous is unreal. We love him. He is so inspiring. If we have to pick characters for our movie one day, he will be one of the main characters.”

And while many others may get the limelight, you can bet there isn’t a coach whose team Mostert is in, that isn’t thankful he sets the bar so high. And has so much fight in him.