In a feature from SA Rugby magazine, we chatted with South African-born NFL player Gerhard de Beer to find out which provincial side he supports.
At 142kg and 1.98m, De Beer could have had a career in rugby or discus, both of which he excelled at as a schoolboy. However, he opted to chase his American football dream.
De Beer played college football for the University of Arizona before signing for the Buffalo Bills last year. When the Bills waived him, he was snapped up by the Green Bay Packers as an offensive tackle.
De Beer was born and bred in Pretoria, where he attended Affies, so it’s no surprise he’s a Bulls fan.
‘When the Bok squad was made up of mostly Bulls like Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield, we used to watch them train at Loftus, which is just across the road from Affies,’ he recalls.
‘That was the life!’ Several of De Beer’s friends, who played alongside him in the Affies 1st XV, are now professional rugby players.
‘I’m great mates with RG Snyman, Jannes Kirsten, Pierre Schoeman and Nico Janse van Rensburg. We go way back. I’m so chuffed all of them got to play Super Rugby for the Bulls. Pierre and Nico are in Europe now and doing well, and it’s great that RG and Jannes are still at Loftus.’
De Beer has fond memories of the Bulls’ golden years when they won three Currie Cups between 2002 and 2004, as well as three Super Rugby titles between 2007 and 2010.
‘It was glorious, wasn’t it? Three Currie Cups in a row is no mean feat, but for me, the greatest moment was that 2009 Super Rugby final against the Chiefs. Fifteen-year-old Gerhard couldn’t stop bouncing up and down in his seat at Loftus as the Bulls ran in eight tries!’
De Beer believes the current Bulls team has what it takes to end their trophy drought.
‘We struggled over the past couple of years, but the boys look in good shape this year and are playing with confidence again.’
By Mariette Adams