Keo.co.za gets to know Paarl Gym’s outside centre.
What’s been the highlight of your rugby career so far?
This year has been the highlight. I’ve given up my cricket to pursue rugby fully and it’s paying off. I’m in the final trials for the Western Province Craven Week side and I’m playing in the match against Boland. I’m making good progress.
What are the strengths of your game?
I love tackling the most, so my defence is solid, and I also run good lines with ball in hand.
What do you need to work on?
I could improve my communication with those around me, the inside centre and wings. We’re a very close-knit unit but I can be more vocal.
Who’s been your toughest opponent this year?
Every game is a new challenge, but Grey College [Bloemfontein] stand out, as they’re a big, physical squad who are really well conditioned. Playing against top sides like Grey is why you play the game, if you don’t want to be tested against the country’s top school there’s something wrong [Grey Bloem beat Paarl Gym 23-12]. I enjoyed the opportunity to measure myself.
What’s your earliest rugby memory?
I don’t have one in particular. I’ve been playing rugby since I was five, before primary school. I used to play with my brothers, who introduced me to the sport.
Have you always been in the midfield?
I started off as a scrumhalf, but I saw on TV what role centres play and I thought it was for me. So I moved to inside centre, then outside centre where I’ve remained. I’d say it was a good decision.
Which player do you want to emulate?
Jean de Villiers and Jaque Fourie are my favourite centres – they’re physical guys, but have a lot of skill to back it up. They’re match winners.
Which teams do you support?
Western Province, the Stormers and obviously the Boks. Though I do admire the passion of the All Blacks.
What are your future ambitions?
I’d like rugby to be a part of my future, but I can only take one step at a time. I’ve got to make use of my time at school, then look at provincial rugby. If I’m good enough to go further, I will. I’ve just got to focus on taking every opportunity along the way.
By Rory Keohane