Born in Secunda, South Africa, van Velze is a powerful ball carrying forward capable of operating across a range of different positions in the pack.
He also captained South Africa Schools and was nominated for the IRB Under 19 Player of the Year in 2007.
Primarily used as a rampaging 8 off the base of the scrum, van Velze graduated from Afrikaans Boys High School, a school renowned for produced some of South Africa's most talented sportsman, before attending the University of Pretoria.
It was in Pretoria where his professional career began with the Bulls in Super Rugby. After two largely unsuccessful seasons stuck behind the likes of Pierre Spies, Deon Stegmann and Dewald Potgieter in the pecking order, van Velze upped sticks and moved to Northampton in the English premiership.
Gerrit-Jan van Velze arrived at Sixways in the summer of 2014 after two years at Northampton Saints.
He was handed the captain's armband in his debut campaign at Sixways making 23 appearances and leading Warriors back to the Premiership at the first time of asking.
He retained the armband in the Premiership and became a key figure in the 2015/16 season, scoring four tries in 17 games while his leadership was key in Warriors’ impressive run of five wins out of six to steer clear of relegation.
The 2016/17 campaign saw van Velze suffer a head injury in the first game of the season which ruled him out for the rest of the campaign.
He bounced back to full fitness in the 2017/18 season and was instrumental in some of Warriors’ big wins against Northampton Saints, Leicester Tigers and Exeter Chiefs, captaining the side in the absence of Donncha O’Callaghan.
Van Velze continued to be a key feature in the Warriors set up since he arrived at the club with all 66 of his appearances prior to the 2018/19 season having come in the starting line up.
The South African was confirmed as the captain once again for the 2019/20 season.
Van Breda rejoined the Southern Kings on two short-term loans in November 2019.
He won the Man of the Match Award against Ospreys where he kicked 11 points and helped the Kings to their first away win in the competition. He then scored a try in their defeat by Connacht in Galway.
Van Breda made his first Premiership start for Warriors on the wing in the home defeat by Bath in February 2020.
As of May 2020, he has made 14 appearances, scoring 24 points for the Warriors.
No 4 Lock
|2014 - present|
No 4 Lock
|2007 - 2012|
No 4 Lock
|2012 - 2014|