South African rugby is renowned for producing talented young flyhalves on an annual basis, and 2010 has been no different with Marais Schmidt excelling for Hoërskool Monument.
‘Marais is great on attack and defence, and he has an accurate boot, too. He’s the type of flyhalf who likes to attack the advantage line, and he keeps his opponents guessing as he has a great rugby brain and vision. He’s also a versatile player and can slot in at fullback if there’s a need.’
Schmidt is a born-and-bred Joburger. He attended Laerskool Fairland but now boards at Monument in Krugersdorp.
‘I’ve always played flyhalf, from primary school through to high school. In Grade 11, they experimented with me at fullback, so I can play both roles,’ says Schmidt. ‘But flyhalf is my ideal position. I enjoy playing fullback, but at 10 I get more time with the ball. I like to attack – I have good hands and an accurate boot.’
Schmidt admits he has some weaknesses.
‘I need to become stronger mentally and avoid making those little errors on the field. I also want to continue working on my conditioning [he is 82kg and 1.80m].’
Schmidt is already on a junior contract with the Golden Lions and will represent the union at Craven Week in July.
‘I want to perform well for the Lions at Craven Week, but I will keep my options open for after school,’ he says. ‘I see myself going through the age groups before getting Currie Cup and Super Rugby opportunities. I’ve set myself the goal of playing for the Springboks by 2015.’
By Gareth Duncan
– This article first appeared in the July issue of SA Rugby magazine