Schoolboy Spotlight Q&A: Craig Barry gets to know Paul Roos’s star fullback.

What’s been the highlight of your rugby career so far?
Being selected and playing for the SA U18 squad. Even though it was at U18 level it was very special to represent South Africa and hear the anthem while wearing the green and gold jersey.

What are your strengths?
I enjoy attacking the line, and finding gaps in the defence. It’s a big part of my game.

What in particular do you feel you need to work on?
I’d like to work on my tactical kicking and develop a greater physical presence. I don’t enjoy getting in the ruck with the forwards but if I develop physically I think it would add another element to my game.

Who played a big role in your rugby development?
My father, Roderick. He knows a lot about the game and has always given me good advice.

What’s your earliest rugby memory?
Playing at U7 level in primary school.

Has rugby always been your game?
I played cricket and got involved in athletics in high school, but as I got more and more serious about my rugby the other sports fell away. Its rugby 24/7 for me, so there isn’t enough time to take another sport seriously.

Who do you aspire to emulate?
My father always tells me to play my own game, and be myself on the field. But players like JP Pietersen and Mils Muliaina are versatile and great to watch.

Which teams do you support?
Obviously the Springboks, but also the Sharks. I used to love the Stormers but I found they never pulled through despite having a lot of talent.

Your toughest opponent?
At school level it has to be Grey College, but I enjoy playing against them. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, and you can’t do that unless you’re willing to give 100%.

Your favourite team to be a part of?
I’ve played in a lot of great teams – Western Province Craven Week from U12 to U18 level and now the SA U18 team – but my favourite in terms of fun has to be the WP Craven Week side.

What are your future ambitions?
Obviously the Springboks are the ultimate goal, but provincially I would like to stay in the Cape. Western Province have been very good to me.

What are your goals outside of school?
I’d definitely like to study after school, but even if I’m not playing the game I still see myself being involved in sport – maybe commentary, or presenting.

By Rory Keohane