Rising star Robert Ebersohn will make his starting XV debut for the Cheetahs on Friday, within months of playing at school level. rugby365.com finds out the benefactors to his rapid success.
Rugby 365 reports that the 19-year-old Grey College graduate will play in his third Currie Cup match this season, after respective South African Under-20 and Springbok Sevens achievements. Before running out in the coveted No.12 jersey, Ebersohn reflects on the past year and the stepping stones which boosted his provincial career.
“After Craven Week I was approached by Paul Treu to join the Springbok Sevens squad,” Ebersohn told rugby365.com.
“Sevens rugby really helped my game. Paul [Treu] is an amazing coach who I admire a lot. He literally made that step up for me and helped me realise my potential.
“He told me not to worry about having to go up against older players. They’ve [the older players] also got two arms and two legs and I needn’t worry about my age,” he added.
Ebersohn was also part of the South African (SA) Under-20 side that went down narrowly to England in the semifinals of the Junior World Championship in Wales last month.
“My Sevens performances in Hong Kong and Adelaide also helped me make the Under-20 side.
“I don’t think I would have walked straight into the No.12 jersey there either if it weren’t for my experience on the Sevens circuit.”
The young centre is no stranger to club rugby either, having had a brief sojourn with the Shimlas (Free State University) earlier this year, before being drafted in the Springbok Sevens training squad in Stellenbosch prior to their Australasian tour.
If the sudden international exposure wasn’t enough, young Ebersohn was contacted by the Cheetahs within hours of returning home after the SA Under-20 tournament, requesting his availability for the Currie Cup training squad.
Ebersohn has relished his new-found fame with the senior side, having had a brief taste last year playing for the Cheetahs at Under-19 level, though admits the swift promotion came somewhat unexpected.
“I looked at JW Jonker who also made side at the age of 19 and wondered how he managed,”admitted Ebersohn.
“I’m not saying I don’t believe in myself as a player, but I thought it would be a gradual process for me and I would slowly move through the ranks.
“But things have just happened for me so I’m just riding the wave.”
When asked about the initial emotions felt when first taking the field for such a revered and successful union, Ebersohn had a very positive take on the Free State setup.
“Initially I felt a bit of pressure, but it helps to remember that there’s 21 other great players out there that have got your back.
“As each week goes by I am feeling more and more comfortable at the Cheetahs. We’re a smaller union compared to the likes of the Sharks or Western Province so it’s a bit like a family and you fit in very quickly,” Ebersohn added.Tweet