Pumas fullback Devon Williams fields a couple of quick questions from SA Rugby magazine’s DEVIN HERMANUS.
Which do you prefer playing: fullback, wing or flyhalf?
I started on the wing in my junior years but when I came to the Pumas they put me at fullback. When we had injuries last season, I had to move to 10. At fullback, there’s lots of time and space, and that suits me perfectly, but I wouldn’t mind giving 10 another run.
Do you have any pre-match habits or rituals?
I’m past that stage of getting fired up, but at the Pumas we like to play a bit of table tennis, which helps clear my mind and it helps with my co-ordination.
What do you enjoy more, scoring or creating tries?
I think creating, because then you involve everyone in the game and everyone’s happy, even if the guy who creates the tries doesn’t always get the credit.
If you weren’t a professional rugby player, what would you be doing?
I was studying environmental management at Maties, so I would probably be doing something in that field or direction. I’m actually finishing my degree now.
What obstacles did you face getting game time at Western Province?
There were always a lot of Springboks in the system and Cheslin Kolbe came through at the same time as me. I was told that we couldn’t play together as we were both small. It’s also the coaches’ preference and that’s something players can’t control. I had opportunities but I also don’t think it was the right time for me at WP.
What was your experience of playing for the Stormers in Super Rugby?
I was just enjoying playing Vodacom Cup and it was a surprise when Allister Coetzee called me in and said, ‘You’re starting on the bench this weekend.’ Super Rugby is close to Test rugby so it was a big adjustment for me, but I eventually settled.
You attended the SA Sevens Academy but never represented the Blitzboks. Is playing for them something you still want to achieve?
If it’s on the cards, why not, hey? I’d obviously have a look at it. The sevens game still suits me and my type of play, especially the speed.
Who would be the better rugby player: Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal?
I’d go with Rafa – looking at his style of tennis and the way he plays, his passion and aggression. There’s also just something about Novak … I’ve never liked him.
Which of your teammates would make the worst Uber driver?
Definitely my roommate Sakie – Eduan Swart! He’s just like a wrecking ball as a person, he goes all out with everything, and I couldn’t see him driving people around.
Who can do more bicep curls: you or Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse?
Jimmy has had his time, so I think I’ll take him easily on that, hey!
How influential has family been on your career?
Family is massive for me. My decision to sign with the Pumas, after seasons of moving around, was based on being happy with my family. It wasn’t the easiest move but my whole family is now with me and we’re thinking of settling here. I have a two-year-old son who just started school. Even my in-laws and parents are up here permanently. My family always keep me grounded and motivated.
What’s the story behind all your funky hairstyles?
That’s solely on my wife! She’s always with the trends and says ‘Try this’ and I will just go with the flow. Like the blond hair; she told me it was highlights and then she made a mess of it! Then she gave me a small bottle and said it’s a conditioner to make my hair nice and soft. But then my hair went purple, because it was actually dye and as I rinsed my hair I was like ‘Babe, what is this?!’ She laughed but I told her, ‘It’s not a joke, I can’t get it out!’
Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images
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