Radebe: EP opportunity ‘make or break’

Former Sharks flyhalf Inny-Christian Radebe wants to make the most of a last shot at a rugby career with Eastern Province after training with the team on a trial basis. DYLAN JACK reports.

The 26-year-old arrived in the Eastern Cape for a short trial a couple of weeks ago and has spent a week training with the team ahead of their potential involvement in the Franchise Cup.

It has been a tumultuous couple of years for the former Sharks player, who found himself in the rugby wilderness after being released by the Durban side in 2018.

Towards the end of last year, Radebe trained with the Springbok Sevens team hoping he could prove his worth, but struggled to adapt to the high intensity of the team’s training.

However, in an interview with SARugbymag.co.za, Radebe says things are starting to look up. He is enthusiastic about his chances of making his stay in the Eastern Cape permanent, even though he has yet to put a contract pen to paper.

‘I was just down for a week on a trial basis, but it looks like things are starting to materialise,’ Radebe said. ‘I am looking to be back with the team hopefully by the end of the week. It’s exciting times.

‘It has been really good. Obviously, I haven’t played much rugby in the past 12 to 18 months because of the Covid-19 pandemic and other things. Just to be back on the pitch and training with these guys, I really, really have enjoyed my time there.

‘I am not looking too far ahead of myself. I am not looking too far into the future. For now, this Eastern Province deal is my main priority and I want to make sure that I do whatever I can to contribute to the team. You never know, opportunities might start from there.’

Having been offered the opportunity to save his rugby career, Radebe added that he will looking to give it his call, as it could be his last shot at making it as a professional player.

‘I really also want to take it as an opportunity to start enjoying my rugby again. In the past few years, I haven’t enjoyed myself and I think this is a great opportunity. We get to play against the bigger unions and the big franchises, which is something I am eagerly anticipating.

‘In the past few years I have been up and down with my emotions and it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. In terms of where I stand with my rugby career, this really is an opportunity presented to really grab with both hands. I really do see this as a make or break. It’s going to be my last caution to the wind. I am going to throw everything at it. Whatever comes of it is obviously meant to be.’

Photo: Michael Green

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Dylan Jack