Gerrit-Jan Van Velze
- Secunda (South Africa)
- Back Row
GJ came to the Gardens with a reputation as one of the brightest back row prospects in South Africa and quickly backed that billing up by becoming an Aviva Premiership and Heineken Cup regular.
A Number 8 who stands at 1.92m and weighs 107kgs, he joined from the Blue Bulls, where he came through the club's much lauded Academy system.
The 25-year-old, who twice captained the province’s junior team to the Vodacom Cup, also captained South Africa Schools and was a nominee for the IRB Under-19 Player of the Year in 2007 before working his way through the ranks at Loftus Versfeld to become a key member of the Bulls’ Currie Cup squad and make his Super Rugby debut in 2010.
GJ's Saints debut in the opening day win at Gloucester was the first of 20 starts in 2012/13 and the dependable number 8's four tries have all come in Saints victories including at Ulster and, most crucially, as they ended Saracens' unbeaten run at Allianz Park in the Aviva Premiership semi-final.