“Tough times are there to build character“

What does 2020 hold for you?

“it’s important for me, that I remain positive, whatever happens next year. I’ve got my goals set out, my mission is to achieve all my goals, regardless of who the coach is. If you work hard and stay focused, you will achieve your goals.”

To have been capped by the Springboks at only 19, do you sometimes have to pinch yourself?

“I’m someone who is really hard on myself, but I do like to sit back sometimes when I am feeling sorry for myself and say that I’ve not done too badly, I’m only 22. You’d like to look back and think, you’ve come a long way, just as a bit of motivation, and you didn’t come all this way just to stop here! I still believe that there is a lot in store for me and I think as far as my rugby is concerned, I can still grow a hell of a lot as a player. Just as a person in general as well, there are a lot of lessons in rugby that you can apply to your personal life as well.”

You said on Twitter, ‘everything comes at the right time, be patient, trust the process. God is always on time.’ Why is that something that you believe in and hold on to as a Rugby player?

“That tweet that I made was basically a summary of what I had wanted to do in the last two years. I’ve told you that it’s been a frustrating time for me, for various reasons. I just feel that sometimes we try to control things that are outside of our control. Everything will happen at the right time, I might be frustrated now that I’m not in the Springbok squad, but everything is going to happen in God’s time and when he feels that I am ready for it. Maybe it was part of God’s plan, that he’s going to use these two years, which I might see as frustrating, to try and shape my heart, to build character within me. So that I can become the person that I’m set out to be.”

Why is God so important to you? He sounds pretty integral to what you do. . .

“100%. My faith has been strong from a very young age and God’s gift to me was my talents. The only way I can repay him is to fulfil my dreams and aspirations through the life that he has blessed me with. I don’t come from a family that had much growing up, so i’m extremely grateful, it can only be God who got me to where I am today. All the glory has to go to God.”

What’s been the key to your Rugby success?

“Something that my grandfather taught me from a very young age, was discipline. You get a lot of guys who are only focused for a short space of time, and that’s because of them getting off-road. The biggest thing is to stay disciplined, work hard and my grandfather, whenever I made a provincial team growing up or had success, he told me that it’s always easy to make a team, but very few stay in those teams. That’s always something that I carry with me all the time and something that helps me achieve, is my discipline.”

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

“As far as Rugby is concerned, I would like to cement myself in the Springbok line up by then. Obviously, that’s not only in my control. There are a lot of outside factors which could have an influence on that, but that is one of my goals and what I’m walking towards. On a personal note, one of my daily goals is just to keep growing in my personal faith. I’d like to spend more and more time with God every single day, get to know him in every situation of my life. Not just praise him when everything is going well but to keep the faith when things are tough Hopefully in five years time I will be married and have my first kid.”