Human dreams of SA swansong
25 May 2009
Keo.co.za spoke to Daan Human about his side’s Top 14 semi-final, adding to his four Springbok caps and finishing off his career in South Africa.
At the age of 33, the Toulouse prop is in some of the form of his life. He has started all but one game for the defending Top 14 champs this season and is looking forward to another titanic battle with rivals Clermont when the two sides clash in Bordeaux this weekend.
‘The games against Clermont are some of the toughest I’ve played in,’ Human told keo.co.za. ‘It will also in a way be a revenge game for them because we beat them in the final last year.
‘They have almost the whole Argentine front row with Martin Scelzo and Mario Ledesma. They also have Thomas Domingo and on top of that they are a team that is coached by a New Zealander in Vern Cotter so they are predictably very physical.
‘They have a great backline too. Last year it was Marius Joubert who was doing all the damage. Unfortunately he got injured this year, but they have Napolioni Nalaga, who is the top scorer again this season and on top of that their captain Aurelien Rougerie is an awesome player.’
Unlike in the Super 14, all the top four sides in France had a week off to prepare for their semi-final encounters and for Human in particular it has been a welcome rest after a long, hard season.
‘We were the last French team left in the Heineken Cup, so we played one more game than the rest of the sides and personally I was happy to have the extra week off because I injured my calf muscle in our last game.
‘Because of the week off, I’ll probably be able to play where as if it was the week straight after the final league game I probably wouldn’t have played.’
Human has been in sparkling form for Toulouse this season and is one of the most highly rated props in the Top 14.
Despite earning praise from numerous teammates and opponents alike, Human, who has just four Test caps to his name, claims he has not once been contacted by Peter de Villiers since he took over the position as national head coach.
‘No one [from the Springbok management] has spoken to me in the five seasons I’ve been here in France. I’m 33 years old so time is certainly not on my side, but you never know, maybe one day.’
Human is held in high regard in France and Toulouse recently offered him a two year extension to his contract which will keep him at the club until 2011.
While the burly prop is enjoying his new life in the south of France, he still hopes to finish off his playing career in South Africa.
‘At the end of the day I had always planned to bring my career to a close back home in South Africa. It would be nice to finish off with a season back home, but it depends on a lot of things.
‘I have been watching a bit of the Super 14 this year and some of the Currie Cup last year and I still get very excited. I would love to say goodbye in South Africa, but you never know what is going to happen.’