In the next instalment of our “in his own words” series, Sharksworld managed to put young Sharks centre Riaan Swanepoel on the spot. Swannie really started to come into his own in the latter stages of last year’s Currie Cup and has already made big progress this year, being named in the Sharks squad for the 2009 Super 14.
Sharksworld: What’s your biggest goal for 2009?
Riaan Swanepoel: To play Super 14 and Currie Cup and just give my best on the field for the team. Also to praise God to the fullest and enjoy life.
SW: Which rugby players did you admire in your youth?
RS: I loved Danie Gerber – just the way he could break the line and beat his man most of the time. Also Carlos Spencer, for the exciting player he is.
SW: What’s your favourite thing to do away from rugby?
RS: Rest, rest, rest, ha ha! Playing golf and I enjoy watching movies, or going to the beach to relax and just spending time with my gal and mates.
SW: What do you feel was the biggest factor contributing to the Sharks Currie Cup success last year?
RS: I think we were well prepared; the players really wanted it, the hunger was there and the willing to wanna take the cup. We had great coach that the guys played for and the guys played for each other and the pride in the jersey.
SW: What is the best thing about living in Durban? What do you miss most about Kimberly?
RS: I love Durban – just being at the sea. I think for me coming from where there is no sea, that tops it! It will be my family that I miss the most, maybe that big hole too (jokes)!
SW: Who has had the biggest influence on your career so far? Why?
RS: Must be my parents, especially my dad, just for being always there for me and supporting me when it was tough and when it goes really well. He taught me a lot about the game and I can thank him a lot for being where I am today.
SW: Do you have any tattoos? If not, would you consider getting one?
RS: No nothing. I must say, I would consider maybe getting one.
SW: Which position is your favourite – where do you see your long-term future?
RS: Its centre. 12 or 13 don’t really mind, long term will be both, where they think I will be the best at for the team.
SW: The Wildebeest had a pretty disappointing season in 2008, despite a very talented squad. What do you think was the main factor that contributed to that?
RS: I think maybe just that the team could only sometimes be picked on Thursday cos of some players coming down from the Super 14.
SW: What do you rate as the strongest aspect of your game?
RS: I work hard on both my attacking abilities and defending abilities to be well balanced in my game – to make them both my strongest aspect of my game.
SW: If you could invite any three people that have ever lived around to your house for dinner, who would you choose?
RS: Nelson Mandela, Danie Gerber and then Elvis Presley, cos the guys call me that. They say I look like him would just like to find out from him what he thinks, ha ha ha!
SW: What is your favourite rugby memory so far?
RS: Got a lot of good memories, but think the one that will stand out the most is winning the Currie Cup.
Sharksworld would like to thank Riaan for taking the time to answer these questions for us. We wish him all the best for the season and for the future.Tweet