Wybrand Willem Els first came to prominence when he played for Northern Free State in the under-19 tournament at Craven Week from 1988 to 1990, making his debut for the senior Free State side in 1992 and soon becoming a key figure in their team. Last year he was on the South Africa A tour to the UK and Ireland, having progressed from Development and under23 ranks. He played in the match at Hawick when Scotland A triumphed 32-19. He won his only cap to date when he replaced Hannes Strydom in the thumping 61-22 win over Australia back in August. He is a teacher.