Flyhalf Kade Wolhuter has opened up about his premature move to Montpellier and his subsequent return to Western Province.
In the latest SA Rugby magazine, Wolhuter talks about his highly publicised switch to the French mega club straight out of high school and how the now-failed move had cost him what should have been the pinnacle of his youth career – a place in the 2019 SA Schools squad.
‘When signing for Montpellier, there were discussions that I had signed away my chances of playing SA schools but I had made peace with that, or at least I thought I had. When the team was announced and I saw that my name wasn’t on the list, I was disappointed not to be able to represent my country.’
That said, Wolhuter confirmed there was no shortage of offers from local unions once it became public knowledge that he was returning to South Africa as a free agent again. And he is determined to gain ground on his rugby peers who’ve stayed in South Africa and have a head start on him within the local provincial system.
‘I received offers from other unions that I considered before making the decision to stay in the Cape and play for WP, which I am really excited about.
‘I felt that I could grow the most at WP for a number of reasons, a few being that I’m close to my family and in an environment that I feel I can really develop into a world-class player because I’ll receive the coaching and opportunities to elevate my game.
‘I’d love to play under John Dobson. And for the record, I entered into negotiations with WP only when I was back in South Africa and completely released from my contract with Montpellier.’
Wolhuter says he knows his development and growth will take a lot of time and patience from his side, especially with the raft of young up-and-coming flyhalves ahead of him in the pecking order at WP and the Stormers. But that doesn’t stop the 18-year-old from setting lofty personal goals.
‘The goal I am working towards at the moment is to play for WP in their mid-week game against the British & Irish Lions next year. I’ve learned a lot about myself during those four months in France. I’m responsible for everything I do and because I don’t have any other talents, I owe it to myself to make the most of this opportunity I’ve been given at WP.’
*The full interview with Wolhuter features in the new issue of SA Rugby magazine, on sale this week.
Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images