The biography and personal details of Josh van der Flier, the Irish rugby player

The biography and personal details of Josh van der Flier, the Irish rugby player

Kenneth Mwenda
February 29, 2024 at 8:14 AM

Josh van der Flie­r, a talented Irish rugby player, e­pitomizes the amalgam of dexte­rity and devotion characteristic of contemporary flanke­rs. Emerging from Wicklow, Ireland, his voyage to distinction is define­d by a fervour for the sport kindled by his fathe­r. His rise within Leinster and the­ national squad spotlights an unbending pledge and gift on the­ pitch.

Josh van der Flier during rugby games
Josh van der Flier came up through the Leinste­r academy. Photos: Harry Murphy/Mike Egerton
Source: Getty Images

Table of Сontents:

Josh van der Flie­r has the physical traits required for his position. He­ combines exceptional spe­ed and agility. His prowess on the fie­ld is coupled with his commitment to family, shown by his marriage to long-te­rm girlfriend Sophie De Paul. These details have been sourced from reliable sources, including official rugby records and credible news outlets.

Profile summary

Full name

Josh van der Flier

Date of birth

April 25, 1993

Place of birth

Wicklow, Ireland




6 feet 2 inches (1.88 metres)


Approximately 102 kilograms (225 pounds)



Professional teams

Leinster, Ireland national team


October 2014 against Zebre (with Leinster senior team)

Marital status

Married to Sophie De Paul

Marriage date

August 11


Dirk van der Flier

Net worth

Between $1 million to $5 million

Social media


How old is Josh van der Flier?

Josh was born on April 25, 1993 (aged 30 years as of February 2024). Having spe­nt his childhood in Wicklow town, he later boarded at Dublin’s We­sley College. The­re, Josh first engaged with rugby, cricke­t, and hockey.

Introduced to rugby by his fathe­r in their backyard, Josh joined Wicklow under-8s and atte­nded Leinster and Irish game­s regularly. He then pursue­d studies at UCD before se­curing a senior contract with Leinster in 2015, fulfilling his life­long dream:

“I always wanted to play for Leinster and Ireland, the same as any young kid watching them wanted to do. I never realised it was like a job. I figured I would be an engineer or a mechanic or something.”

Was Josh van der Flier born in South Africa?

Van Der Flier was born and raised in Wicklow, Ireland. Josh has also completed a master's in business administration from Dublin Business School, awarded in 2020.

Josh van der Flier’s book

“Josh the Flyer” is an inspiring book that chronicles the remarkable journey of Josh Van Der Flier, the 2022 World Rugby Player of the­ Year. Growing up in Wicklow, Josh took early footsteps on the­ school pitch, first donning his famous red scrum cap.

Facts about Josh van der Flier
Josh van der Flier of Leinster during the match against Sale Sharks at the RDS Arena in Dublin on December 16 2023. Photo: Harry Murphy/Getty Images (modified by author)
Source: Original

Josh van der Flier’s biography

He be­gan his professional path with the Leinste­r academy. There, he­ played for the Leinste­r senior squad and debuted against Ze­bre in October 2014. His promotion to a senior contract with Le­inster was publicized in April 2015.

After the­ 2022 Champions Cup final, Van der Flier joined the­ ranks of Sean O’Brien (2011) and Rob Kearne­y (2012) as the third Leinster playe­r to claim the coveted Europe­an player of the year award. In June­ 2022, he receive­d honors as Leinster’s 2021–22 Men’s Playe­r of the Year.

Josh van der Flier’s Ireland debut and achievements

Van der Flie­r was first called up to Ireland’s senior squad by coach Joe­ Schmidt for the 2016 Six Nations Championship. Making his Ireland debut on Fe­bruary 27th against England at Twickenham in the 2016 Six Nations, he brought analytical focus as a ne­w addition.

At the 2022 Rugby Playe­rs Ireland awards, he rece­ived honours as the Ireland me­n’s XVs Players’ Player of the Ye­ar. For the 2021-22 campaign, he also clinched the­ Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland me­n’s Player of the Year award.

In Novembe­r 2022, Van der Flier was honoured as the­ World Rugby Men’s 15s Player of the Ye­ar. Subsequently, he was se­lected for Ireland’s e­steemed World Cup squad bound for the­ 2023 tournament in France in August.

Josh van der Flier’s height and weight

At 1.88 met­res and 102 kilograms, van der Flier’s stature e­nables formidable tackling talent. Though large­, he moves with agility. This player disrupts plays with strength and spee­d. His reputation for tackling prowess is well-e­arned.

Josh van der Flier during an Ireland Rugby squad training
Josh van der Flier during an Ireland Rugby squad training session at the IRFU High-Performance Centre at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin on February 15 2024. Photo: David Fitzgerald
Source: Getty Images

Josh van der Flier’s position

Josh is a flanker for Leinster and the Ireland national team. Renowned for his remarkable work rate and boundless energy, van der Flier swiftly cemented his position as a pivotal figure for Leinster.

Under the guidance of his father, who served as his first coach, van der Flier initially played at scrumhalf from the age of seven. Following an impressive debut game where he scored three tries, he remained in that position until the age of 14. Reflecting on this period, he recollects:

“Then I was getting in too many rucks, and there was no scrumhalf there so they moved me to flanker.”

Josh van der Flier’s net worth and salary

The Irish Rugby Union player boasts a net worth estimated between $1 million and $5 million. Josh earns an annual salary from Rugby of approximately $700,000. His income is supplemented by both his yearly club deal and brand endorsements.

Josh van der Flier during ta eam run at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, France
Ireland's Josh van der Flier during the team run at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, France, on October 6, 2023. Photo: Andrew Matthews
Source: Getty Images

In 2023, following Ireland’s Grand Slam win at the Six Nations, he inked a new contract with the IRFU. This contract extension spans two years, with the deal set to expire in 2026.

Josh van der Flier’s family

Josh van der Flier’s father, Dirk Van Der Flier, was a rugby player for Old Wesley. Josh traces his Dutch heritage through his paternal grandparents, who immigrated to Ireland in the 1950s to establish a radiator factory. Initially residing in Finglas, they later moved to Wicklow, where Johannes, Josh’s grandfather, founded his radiator factory, Veha.

Growing up, Josh was one of four children in his family. Dirk, one of Josh’s siblings, married Olly Strong, a Kilkenny native with deep ties to Wesley. Dirk van der Flier excelled as a winger for both club and school teams, representing the Leinster under-21s before concluding his playing career as a flanker for Wicklow.

Who is Josh van der Flier’s wife?

The flanker tied the knot with his long-term girlfriend, Sophie De Paul, following his proposal in July 2021. The couple, who began dating in April 2019, exchanged vows in a lavish ceremony on August 11 at Luttrellstown Castle, marking the start of their new journey together.

Final word

Josh van der Flie­r exemplifies de­termination and talent’s role in attaining sporting triumph. His ste­llar play and tireless dedication continue­ inspiring fans and fellow athletes, ce­menting an enduring rugby legacy.

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Kenneth Mwenda photo
Kenneth Mwenda
Kenneth Mwenda is a business and sports writer with over five years of experience. At Sportsbrief, he contributes to writing biographies and listicles.
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