Jay-Z has expanded his stable of star South African talents after recruiting Sharks full-back and emerging Springbok Aphelele Fassi to his Roc Nation sports agency.
The American rap mogul has steadily increased his profile in the sports industry after signing a list of world-class athletes in recent years, and Fassi is the latest to join that contingent.
He follows international team-mates Cheslin Kolbe, Sbu Nkosi and Siya Kolisi, the latter of whom will join him at Jonsson Kings Park next season after agreeing to sign for the Sharks from Stormers.
Roc Nation Sports is rivalling the industry’s more established brands after recruiting some of the biggest names in sports, including Kyrie Irving, LaMelo Ball, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne.
And Manchester City marvel De Bruyne was on hand to welcome the company’s latest addition to the Roc Nation family:
Upon joining the sports sector of Jay-Z ’s media empire, Fassi said: "Roc Nation Sports are a family who are committed to professionalism, growing players holistically and helping them make a difference in their community.
"I was attracted to Roc Nation's capabilities which align to the big dreams and goals I have for my career.
“Given that my career is still quite young, knowing I have the right people around me gives me the peace of mind to focus on my priority which is rugby."
Fassi, 23, is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in South African rugby at present, having earned his Springboks debut against Georgia at the beginning of July.
He scored with his first touch of the ball in that encounter and followed up with another early try in the Rugby Championship opener against Argentina, which ended in a 32-12 win.
That 100% international scoring record is evidence as to why Roc Nation has moved to sign Fassi, with Kolbe, Nkosi and Kolisi having set a high bar in regards to the company’s recruitment process.
Roc Nation Sports International president Michael Yormark said the decision to add Fassi to their roster of talent was an easy one: "Aphelele is one of the most talented young rugby stars in South Africa and in the sport. Partnering with him is a natural fit due to both his rugby skills and incredible life story.
“We are looking forward to growing with him throughout his exciting career and providing him with the best opportunities to achieve his rugby and personal goals."
South Africa captain Kolisi, 30, was the first rugby player to sign for Roc Nation Sports at the back end of 2019.
The agency has added a raft of South African athletes to its ranks since then, including cricketers Temba Bavuma and Lungi Ngidi, as well as Spar Proteas netball captain Bongi Msomi.
Fassi—who made his Super Rugby debut in 2019—is part of Jacques Nienaber’s Springboks squad for the 2021 Rugby Championship, which South Africa lead after beating Argentina in back-to-back meetings.
He’ll hope to have a greater impact for his country as the competition progresses, with SANZAAR recently announcing the final four rounds will be held in Queensland.
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