Bismarck du Plessis loves the physical battle.
Finesse isn’t a word you’d easily associate with the Bok hooker. Power and passion are. And he’s built for demolition – like one of those impossibly large trucks the Yanks love to crash into each other for sport.
‘It’s the way I’ve always played, and I can’t see myself changing that now,’ he tells SA Rugby magazine. ‘I rely on my strengths. Why wouldn’t I? It’s what got me to this point in my career. I’m playing for the Springboks because the coaches see it as part of my game that can add value to the side.’
Du Plessis also talks openly about his relationship with John Smit, his rivalry with Chiliboy Ralepelle, learning to speak Sotho before he learnt Afrikaans, how he almost left the Sharks after spending just three weeks in Durban, and why his mom got upset when he ‘posed’ topless.
Also in the new issue:
– South Africa’s first-choice starting XV is the best on the planet, but are there enough quality fringe players in the case of injury or loss of form? World Cup-winning flyhalf Joel Stransky looks at the team’s backline options, while ex-Bok prop Robbie Kempson analyses the forwards
– Heinrich Brüssow on ‘getting away with murder’ against the British & Irish Lions, his battle with All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and the difference between him and Schalk Burger
– Why South Africa’s bid to host the World Cup in 2015 or 2019 failed
– The chance to win the 2011 World Cup on home soil – and exorcise past demons – has kept New Zealand’s top players in the country
– Mils Muliaina on his autobiography, New Zealand’s World Cup obsession, the evolution of fullback play, and ending his career in South Africa
– David Pocock grew up in Zimbabwe dreaming of playing for the Springboks, but he has no regrets about wearing the gold and green of Australia
– New Sharks flyhalf Juan Martín Hernández wants be known for his spell-binding efforts on the rugby field, rather than for his pin-up boy looks or half-naked photo shoots
– Francois Hougaard on why he left Western Province, the plans for him to succeed Fourie du Preez at the Bulls, and playing wing in the Currie Cup
– Os du Randt on his new role as Cheetahs scrum coach, what he learnt from Balie Swart and why CJ van der Linde should be in the Springbok squad
– After making a big impression at the World Games in Taiwan, sevens rugby is ready for Olympic inclusion
– Jonny Wilkinson is learning to do things the French way