Here’s what to look forward to as former Springbok Stefan Terblanche joins the SA Rugby magazine team as a new columnist.
Writing a rugby column should be the easiest thing to do for someone who’s played rugby most of his life, and wait for this, played in an amateur era.
Yes, I am getting old, and that’s perhaps why I would often sit on the couch, look at the current crop of players and think to myself, where are we going with this game of rugby, our game that we literally bled for during a large portion of our adult life?’
My views might be archaic compared to the current crop of players, but I firmly believe that having played rugby in the ‘olden days’ – as my kids would say – it will help shape a true and honest opinion that we all love to hear, regardless of whether you agree or not.
I absolutely love the game, I am involved in it from day to day, and yes, I still try and watch most of the games on TV should my three kids allow me to handle the remote for a few minutes. We have so much choice, with various games and tournaments to choose from, that we can literally spend our whole week watching and talking about rugby.
Schools rugby is a phenomenon in our country, and the talent on display not only entices provincial scouts, but also those from abroad who can be found sniffing around at schools and Craven Week. That’s something we will look at in depth in weeks to come with Craven Week around the corner.
We are almost done with the Vodacom Super Rugby conference stage, and crucial games for playoff spots loom large. I can honestly say that it’s been a very difficult year to call from a results point of view, and if you don’t believe me just look at my Superbru.
It would have taken a very brave punter with great odds to back the Sunwolves recording their first-ever win on New Zealand soil earlier this year, with the team from Japan also going on to beat the Waratahs, who claimed the scalp of the mighty Crusaders this season. I think it was just a timely reminder, even in this modern day and age that rugby and sport is the ultimate leveller.
We are eternally optimistic about our South African team’s chances to clinch the title, but purely based on current form, the Super Rugby trophy does not look like it will be making its way back to South African shores this year.
It’s also a World Cup year of course, and they seem to come around so fast these days that I’m losing count of all the rugby games, tours, and other events on the go. I recall how it was once possible to look back and remember all the scores and team lineups from every game without missing a single game of rugby.
In saying this, I can assure you that I am very excited for the rugby year ahead, and I will also be spending a good few weeks at the World Cup in Japan, but more about that later.
I am looking forward to sharing my views, opinions and insights with SA Rugby magazine and getting the ‘gees’ going before kick-off in Japan. SA Rugby, and more importantly our country, can really do with a 1995 World Cup moment.
Photo: Howard Cleland/Gallo Images