Keke, let’s start at the beginning. What was your favourite early rugby memory.
It would have to be my first provincial match against Western Province at Grant Khomo as a 15 year old.
You’re at Welkom Gim and are obviously a star player there. Were there offers from other schools? What made you stay at Gim instead of go to another larger more established rugby school?
There were several offers from major rugby playing schools. For me leaving Gim was something I never considered, the faith and the belief the coaches had in me meant I had no reason to leave.
Discuss your rugby career with us, what teams did you represent so far.
I was already playing provincial rugby when I was 14 representing the Griffons VKB team. I then was selected for the Griffons at Grant Khomo where I played for 2 years in 2016 and 2017. From there I was selected for the Griffons Sevens side in 2017 and 2018 and was chosen for the South African Sevens team but due to an expired passport I could not travel with the team. In 2018 and 2019 I made the Griffons Craven Week sides and in both years I was selected for the SA Schools team. I also represented the World XV at the World Schools Festival at Paul Roos last year which was an amazing experience.
Were you always a loose forward or have you played other positions?
I have always played as a loose forward.
Playing SA Schools is a huge achievement, playing it for 2 years makes you one of the very few elite to have done it. How did it feel when you were first selected as an under 17? Was it a shock?
When I first received the call that I was selected for the SA Schools team as an Under 17 I was in shock. Coming from a smaller school means exposure can be hard but the belief the coaches had in me and the work that we all put in together paid off.
If you had to go to war name 2 players in your team you would have on your side.
Ndinovuyo Holiday and Benedict Human for sure! Even though I have to state 2 names I would have to add Calla Pienaar as well.
Are there any young players from Welkom Gim we should be keeping an eye out for?
Keep a close eye on Benedict Human and Woah Miller.
Who have been the biggest influences on your career so far?
The coaches at Welkom Gim who have been there with me at the very beginning, I owe them everything.
During your time as an SA Schools player you faced the English Under 18 team. How did you find the quality of opposition and how did the playing style differ from South Africa?
I think the English style of play is a bit slower and far more direct than we are used to, it probably has a lot to do with the conditions they normally play in. We play a far faster game in my opinion although it is well known we also like the physical side of the game.
You signed with Western Province. What made you choose to move to the Cape and what are your long term goals as a rugby player?
I had no preference for a Union unlike many young players who have dreams to go to a specific Union. For me it was the belief that Western Province showed in me. They were very up front on their plans for me and how they see me progressing in terms of my career.
This will all come with hard work and belief in myself, my long term goal is to be playing Super Rugby at either 22 or 23 years of age and at a later stage like every young South African I dream of playing for the Springboks.
My last ever meal would be: Lasagna
If I could meet one person it would be: Dwayne Johnson
My favorite music is: I have no real preference in music
If I wasn’t pursuing a career in rugby I would be: Sport scientist or fitness model.
A position I would never want to play: Prop