David George Ribbans (born 29 August 1995) is a South African born rugby union player, currently playing with English Premiership side Northampton Saints. His regular position is lock.
Ribbans was born and grew up in Somerset West, Western Cape, South Africa.
2014–2016: Youth rugby / Western Province
He attended and played rugby at Somerset College, and, despite never being selected to play provincial rugby at schoolboy level, he joined the Western Province Rugby Institute after high school.
He was included in the Western Province U19 squad that participated in the 2014 Under-19 Provincial Championship. He didn't feature in the first seven rounds of the competition, but played off the bench in their next match against the Blue Bulls U19s before being promoted to the starting lineup for their next match against the Golden Lions U19s and remained in the starting lineup for the remainder of the competition. He scored a decisive try in their 21–20 victory over Eastern Province U19 as Western Province won nine of their twelve matches during the regular season to finish in third position on the log. Ribbans helped his side to a 29–22 victory over Free State U19 in their semi-final, and he won silverware the next week when Western Province beat the Blue Bulls 33–26 in the final in Cape Town.
At the start of 2015, Ribbans featured in a friendly match for Super Rugby franchise the Stormers against fellow side Western Cape side the SWD Eagles, and he also made his first class debut in March 2015, starting Western Province's 25–10 victory over another team from the Western Cape, the Boland Cavaliers, in Caledon in Round One of the 2015 Vodacom Cup, his only appearance in the competition. In the second half of 2015, he played for the Western Province U21 team in Group A of the Under-21 Provincial Championship, where he quickly became a key player, featuring in ten of their twelve matches during the regular season. He scored a try against Free State U21 as Western Province finished top of the log, winning ten of their matches. Ribbans started their semi-final match against the Golden Lions and scored a try five minutes before half time as his side ran out 43–20 winners. He scored his third try of the season in the final, scoring Western Province's fourth of six tries in a 52–17 victory over the Free State U21s in Johannesburg to win a youth competition for the second season in a row.
At the start of 2016, Ribbans was named in the Stormers squad for the 2016 Super Rugby season, but didn't feature in any of their matches. He played in four matches for a Western Province team that finished top of the 2016 Currie Cup qualification series, winning thirteen out of their fourteen matches. He once again reverted to the Western Province U21 side in the second half of the season, scoring a try against Sharks U21 in one of his six appearances in the 2016 Under-21 Provincial Championship. He also made his debut in the Currie Cup Premier Division in 2016, coming on as a replacement in their 52–31 victory over Griquas in Kimberley. He made a second appearance off the bench a week later against the Boland Cavaliers, scoring his first try in first class rugby. It proved to be a vital try for Western Province who were 28–20 down at the time in a match they had to win to ensure qualification to the semi-finals, with fly-half Robert du Preez's subsequent conversion and penalty five minutes later enough to secure third place on the log for Ribbans' team. Despite this, Ribbans didn't feature in their semi-final against the Blue Bulls, which Western Province lost 30–36 to be eliminated from the competition.
2017–present: Northampton Saints
After the 2016 season, Ribbans moved to England to join Premiership side Northampton Saints, with the team announcing his signing on 5 January 2017.
Starting his first game in a Saints shirt in a friendly against Bedford, Ribbans quickly established himself as a first team contender with a hat trick against the RFU Championship side.
The lock has since progressed into the first team, earning 6 appearances for Saints so far and proving to be a favourite with the Saints supporters for his high work-rate and big hits.
In October 2020 Ribbans was called up to a senior England training squad by head coach Eddie Jones.
Former Youth Teams
Former Senior Teams
Former Club Staff