Renowned 1995 and 2007 World Cup-winner Os du Randt on his induction into the Hall of Fame and the Boks’ World Cup hopes.
What does it mean to you to be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame?
‘It is an honour to be recognised worldwide for what you have achieved as a rugby player. It is something nice and gives you that recognition, which is very special.’
How did you find out you were being inducted, and do you feel it should have happened long before?
‘World Rugby contacted me via email and told me that I was going to be inducted. I feel that this is something that you don’t go out to achieve. It is something that you earn. If it takes 10 years or five years or even 100, it does not matter. As long as you end up there one day.’
What have you been up to over the past year and do you have plans to go back into coaching?
‘Myself and [former Cheetahs coach] Naka Drotske are in a business together. We make energy drink sachets, called TopTrim, which we market through all the big retail companies. I don’t have any plans to go back into coaching at the moment. I am just trying to break away from rugby, trying to do my own thing.’
As a former Cheetahs player, were you pleased with their Currie Cup win?
‘Definitely. We always struggled to keep our players. To win a trophy is special, especially the Currie Cup. That is special for any South African team, because it has such a rich history. I think the guys played well through the season and pulled it through. It is great for the Free State and for Bloemfontein as well.’
How can the team keep their performances up in the Pro14?
‘We managed to get into the quarter-finals in the past. That is when the team as a group learned how to handle that pressure and to play under those circumstances. Hopefully winning the Currie Cup will give the guys that little advantage going into the Pro14 and help them win the title this season.’
Who do you think the favourites are for this year’s World Cup?
‘I think quite a few teams can win it. In my opinion, the favourites have to be South Africa and New Zealand. I think they have the teams that can handle the pressure going into the playoffs. Hopefully South Africa can do better in that regard. South Africa need to play to their strong points.’
How decisive do you think scrums could be in the World Cup?
‘I think the Springboks have managed to build depth, especially at tighthead. Trevor Nyakane came through this year, while Vincent Koch and also Frans Malherbe are also up there. With the amount of humidity in Japan, scrums are definitely going to play a role when it comes to creating the opportunities to get penalties. In knockout rugby, three points will be crucial. I think it is also a great attacking platform.’
What advice would you give the Boks, given that are going to be spending a long time away from their families?
‘What I have gathered from the guys and from Rassie Erasmus, is that the planning has been done and explained to the team. They just need to look at the bigger picture. When I went on my first tour, it was also eight weeks. It is just a matter of getting your mind in the right space and making sure that you keep the bigger picture in mind.’
Interview by Dylan Jack
Photo: Philippe Perusseau/ Icon Sport/Getty Images