Willem is a professional rugby union player who currently plays for Lions in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition. He previously played for the Lions and the Sharks in Super Rugby and for the Golden Lions and Sharks in the Currie Cup before joining Stade Français. At the end of January 2020, Alberts confirmed his move back to his roots to rejoin the Lions, in order to help them with their Super Rugby campaign. He was schooled at Hoërskool Monument in Krugersdorp.
Alberts made his professional debut for the Golden Lions in 2007. In that same year he was awarded his debut in the Super 14, playing against the Waratahs. He moved to the Sharks in 2010. In October 2010, Willem was selected to the Springbok squad of 39 players to prepare for the November tour of Europe.
He is known for his punishing runs (often requiring more than one tackler to stop him) and his rock solid defence. Due to his colossal mass (120 kg) Alberts’ bruising runs and bone-crunching tackling, that often constitute “big hits”, have made him a crowd favorite and earned him a large following.
During the 2010 Currie Cup semi-final against the Vodacom Blue Bulls Alberts was awarded “Man-of-the-Match” after he put in a solid performance consisting of 21 ball carries gaining 144 metres. It is after a string of monumental performances for the Sharks that Alberts was named as part of the Springbok squad ahead of the 2010 Northern Hemisphere grand slam tour.
Alberts made his debut for South Africa off the bench on 13 November 2010 and scored a try against Wales. Many believe that Alberts’ impact was so great off the bench that he alone swung the game in the Boks favor and pulled them through.
He won his second Springbok cap against Scotland, when he once again came on off the bench and scored a powerful try after plucking the ball from the air in a line out and driving over the whitewash. However, his exploits were not enough and the Boks lost the game.
His third cap came the following weekend against England at Twickenham. Alberts would come onto the field once more in the number 19 jersey and would score another try, this time in the corner which buried the English side and Alberts was branded “Super Sub”.
Willem Alberts made his run on debut against the Barbarians at Twickenham in the unfamiliar open side flanker berth. Although he did not score a try the test did not count as an official cap and Alberts returned to South Africa with a 100% try scoring record on his debut tour.