Tuesday 11 December 2018

Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok Naka Drotske shot during attempted robbery

Naka Drotske won 26 caps for South Africa over a six-year career (Getty)
Naka Drotske won 26 caps for South Africa over a six-year career (Getty)

Jack de Menezes

World Cup-winning Springbok Naka Drotske is in intensive care and will undergo emergency surgery after being shot during an attempted house robbery in Pretoria.

The 47-year-old, who won 26 caps for South Africa and was part of the 1995 Rugby World Cup squad, was reportedly shot three times while at his brother’s house in Kameeldrift.

According to South Africa outlet News24, a group of four heavily armed men broke into the property on the outskirts of Pretoria and shot Drotske as he attempted to protect others in attendance – which included Springboks teammate and business partner Os du Randt, who escaped injury.

Police have confirmed that Drotske has been admitted to Netcare Montana Hospital where he is being treated in intensive care and will undergo emergency surgery, with the report adding that he lost “almost a third of his blood”.

"There was a struggle whereby one of the men was shot at," said South Africa Police Service spokesman Captain Kay Makhubele, who also confirmed that the incident occurred at around 10pm on Thursday night.

Police stated that they are investigating cases of attempted murder and attempted robbery, but no arrests have yet been made.

"From what we hear it is stable and they think it is okay," Cheetahs chief executive Harold Verster told Sport24.

"I had a chat with Os (Du Randt) this morning. He is okay. He said it was like a war zone with shots going off everywhere ... he said it was chaos.

"We're just totally shocked and we hope that Naka will recover and that Os is okay ... they are friends and legends of the region".

Drotske made his South Africa debut in 1993 and made 26 appearances across six years, scoring three tries. He made one appearance at the 1995 Rugby World Cup as South Africa clinched one of the most emotional victories in sporting history, uniting a nation split by apartheid in the process.

Drotske also played at the 1999 Rugby World Cup, where he started five games as the Springboks finished in third place.

The hooker played for the Free State Cheetahs as well as the Blue Bills in South Africa’s provincial Currie Cup, as well as the Lions – previously known as the Cats during his playing days – and spend two years with London Irish in the Premiership where he helped them to Powergen Cup final victory over Northampton Saints in 2002.

After retiring in 2005, Drotske moved into coaching where he took charge of the Free State Cheetahs for six years between 2007 and 2013, as well as the Super Rugby franchise for an additions two years until 2015, before retiring from rugby to pursue other business interests.

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