Du’Plessis Kirifi returns as Wellington Lions captain

Northern United’s Du’Plessis Kirifi has been named Wellington Lions captain for the 2022 NPC Bunnings Warehouse; his fourth season as skipper.

Born in Taranaki, the former student of Francis Douglas Memorial College went to Hamilton under a contract with an academy. Moving to Wellington in 2017, he made his debut for the Lions and impressed in his first season.

After helping the Lions win the 2017 Championship, he won shirt seven as the Lions reached the Premiership final on their return to the top flight in 2018.

Greater honors awaited him, as the 21-year-old signed with the Hurricanes and was named captain of the Wellington Lions ahead of the 2019 season.

Kirifi will be looking to add to his 43 appearances this season and said he was delighted to start a fourth season as captain.

“I’m just as excited [to be named Captain] like I was the first time. But I feel like last year I learned a lot of hard lessons, on and off the pitch, which I think in the long run has hopefully made me a better leader. I just have to be an example of what I want to see in the team.

“I’m lucky with the Lions because we are a team full of leaders. Everyone has a role to play,” Kirifi said.

Kirifi will lead the team in their pre-season match against Taranaki at Waverley this Saturday, ahead of the Bunnings Warehouse NPC opener against Bay of Plenty on August 7.

Charles P. Patton