Radebe: I’m feeling fit, healthy and happy

Former Sharks and EP Elephants flyhalf Inny Radebe says he is looking to reignite his love for the game as he returns to club rugby with Durban-based side College Rovers. CRAIG LEWIS reports.

Earlier this year, Radebe featured for the EP Elephants during the Preparation Series, but was among a host of senior players to leave the union after their contracts were not extended.

The 26-year-old had made an inspiring return to the field after spending the previous three years in the rugby wilderness, but he then suffered a broken hand during the team’s opening Preparation Series match against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

Although he did make an earlier than expected return to action, it was unclear where Radebe would find his next ‘rugby home’, with reports suggesting that the 26-year-old was set to call time on his career.

However, the talented flyhalf told SARugbymag.co.za on Thursday that he had now settled back in Durban, and was excited to see how things could progress at Rovers, starting with a Tens tournament at the end of the month.

“I’m feeling fit, healthy and happy. I’m at a point in my rugby career where I just want to enjoy myself. I want to play with a smile on my face and express myself. I want to free myself of any restrictions or negativity. I don’t see a better place to do that right now than at Rovers. I think their style of play suits me, and I’m just going out to enjoy myself. I’m going into this with no pressures or expectations.”

It’s a return to a familiar environment for Radebe, who was a member of the Sharks Academy, and featured for the Durban-based side through age-group and senior levels.

“For the first time since leaving the Sharks in 2017 I feel like I’m where I need to be. I had my first taste of rugby with Rovers in the Gold Cup in 2019 and Durban is a place where I’ve always been happy. It’s where I realised my boyhood dream to play for the Sharks, even if was just for two seasons with the senior side.

“Right now, I’m not thinking about trying to get back into a professional set-up but, of course, I’m not completely closed off to that possibility,” Radebe added. “That’s not what this is about, though, I’m not using Rovers for that purpose [to get back into a pro team]. If that opportunity arose, I’d definitely consider it, but at the moment I’m just looking to start enjoying myself again on the rugby field.

“I think for a long time I’ve had to try and prove myself to people to get back into a professional set-up, but now I’ve really just made peace with the fact that even if that dream might be over, I’ve still got an opportunity to really express myself at Rovers.”

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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