Former Sharks and La Rochelle centre Paul Jordaan says he is turning his attentions away from rugby in order to help his family’s farm. DYLAN JACK reports.
Jordaan, who was part of the 2012 Junior Springbok squad that won the U20 World Championships, played for the Sharks between 2011 and 2015. During his time in Durban, he helped the team make the Vodacom Super Rugby final and Currie Cup final in 2012.
After five years with the Sharks, the midfielder moved to La Rochelle for a fresh start. He quickly fired at the Parisian club and was a key member of the La Rochelle side that topped the French Championship standings in his first season – eventually falling out in the semi-finals.
However, after struggling with injury and finding appearances difficult to come by, Jordaan negotiated an early release from his contract, which would have run until 2021.
Now back in South Africa, the 28-year-old told SARugbymag.co.za that he has taken his place on the family farm near Cradock in the Eastern Cape.
‘It has been a tough time with our business, because we have been going through a five-year drought,’ Jordaan said. ‘Conditions have not really been good, so I wanted to come back and help out where I could.
‘So I have come back and joined the family business and have moved on to the family farm. My parents have moved off, they live just outside of town now. I am sort of taking over the farm now.
‘We farm with sheep and goats. We have a couple of Kalahari red goats and we also have a hunting trip business with American clients.
‘I feel like I have left rugby on my own terms. I was not forced out of rugby, I have done it on my own terms and I am now doing something that I really love. So, it actually hasn’t been that tough.
‘I am done. I have decided that it is time to hang up my boots and start my life after rugby. While you are playing, you live in this bubble. There are a lot of guys who leave it too late to get out of the bubble. So I feel like it was a good time to leave the rugby scene and now start life after rugby.’
*Jordaan was speaking to SA Rugby magazine as part of a feature looking back on his career and found out what he has been up to since returning to South Africa.
Photo: Steve Haag Sports/Hollywoodbets