A product of Hoërskool Garsfontein in Pretoria, Franco Naude represented the Blue Bulls at the U18 Craven Weeks of both 2013 and 2014. Deciding to remain in Pretoria, Naude was a standout performer during the U19 Currie Cup and scored eleven tries in the competition. It came as no surprise when Franco was one of the first names on the team sheet for South Africa at the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2016, wearing both the number 12 and 13 jerseys when called upon. A senior professional debut came just a few short weeks later, as the (then) 19-year-old was physically imposing himself in both Currie Cup Qualifiers and the U21 Currie Cup.
Able to break tackles with ease, Naude was often used as a barnstorming inside centre with a destructive streak, leaving would-be defenders on the backfoot. So much more than just a physical presence though, his raw speed and ability to marshal his own defensive line meant Franco was also perfectly suited to the challenge of outside centre, a position he held in the 2017 senior Currie Cup for the Blue Bulls. It was clear that higher honours awaited, and he duly made his Super Rugby debut through a move to the cross-town Lions in 2019. Always willing to embrace a fresh challenge, he enjoyed a spell with the Mpumalanga Pumas before embarking on a Russian adventure with Strela Kazan.
DOB: 28 March 1996
Current Team: Strela-Agro Kazan
2020 - 2021
Strela-Agro Kazan (Russian Rugby Championship)
2019 - 2020
Mpumalanga Pumas (Currie Cup)
2018 - 2019
Lions (Super Rugby, Currie Cup), Blue Bulls (Currie Cup)
2016 - 2018
Blue Bulls (U21 Currie Cup, Supersport Challenge)
2015 - 2016
South Africa (World Rugby U20 Championship)