Our friends at www.sharksrugby.co.za caught up with Keegan Daniel who, on Saturday, made his 50th appearance for The Sharks in the Absa Currie Cup and posed 20 straight-forward, interesting and thought-provoking questions to find out a little more about the player and what he thinks about a variety of issues?
What does it mean to you playing for The Sharks?
When you come here as a young player all you want to do is put on the black and white jersey, so it’s a dream realised firstly, and then a massive responsibility because there have been some great players to have worn the jersey before, so you have to respect the jersey and uphold its name.
What is your favourite personal rugby memory?
There have been quite a few, obviously the one that stands out the most is winning the Absa Currie Cup last year, being a young guy and having other young guys in the squad, it was quite an achievement for many of us, so that’s probably one of my most standout memorable moments.
What does the life of a professional sportsman mean to you?
Making a lot of sacrifices. Your life is your career, rugby is all day, everyday – it’s in the media, in the public, when you go shopping and you can’t hide from it. People expect results and performances, so it’s a lot of pressure, but that comes with the territory.
What does your position on the field require of you in terms of your preparation and delivery?
I’ve been playing eighthman recently so I’m quite a universal loose forward I can play 6 and 7 as well. In the team structure, I have certain roles to fulfill and at the moment being a bit older and having been around for a couple of years, more leadership responsibility falls on my shoulders. I also prepare immensely which is exceptionally important for when you play.
What’s the toughest game in a season?
I don’t think there is any one that you can pinpoint, there are a few hard weeks in a row where you have a big match one week and another big one the following week, so just lifting yourself up. You put a lot of effort and time into preparing for a big game and then you have another one like that, just to get yourself up for it, to be well-rested and prepared properly for the next one. That’s the challenge.
What’s the best part about touring?
There are so many good things about touring! Visiting two countries, spending a lot of time with mates, experiencing new fields, new change-rooms, a whole different vibe. You’re also taken out of your comfort zone which is a challenge in itself.
And the worst?
It differs for everyone, married guys obviously miss their wives, fathers miss their children, the single guys don’t miss anyone so probably enjoy it more, so each has his own challenge. After a long four or five week tour, you all start to look forward to coming home, sleeping in your own bed and driving your own car and just getting back into your normal routine.
Who is the funniest guy in the team?
Definitely Pat Cilliers, he’s probably one of the most comedic guys we have, he has a natural talent for being funny, he doesn’t have to try too hard and Deon Carstens always has a quick chirp or funny comment. These front rowers are pretty intelligent.
What’s typically in your fridge at any one time?
Not too much, a few eggs, water, some milk, a few veggies. I stock up on general things on a daily basis, being single and living on your own, you don’t have your fridge stocked to the brim full of stuff.
Can you cook, what’s your signature dish?
I can definitely cook, but cook well? I haven’t really found my signature dish but I can make quite a mean roast, my roast potatoes are quite a delicacy, you can ask Deon Carstens about those, he’ll vouch for me.
If you could pig out on any food that didn’t affect your health or weight, what would it be?
That’s a massive call. It would probably be a combination of chips, chocolates and biscuits – that kind of thing.
What’s your ideal dining experience? (Meal, Restaurant, Company)
I think dining’s all about who you’re with and not so much about where you go. As long as you have good company, the food’s OK and you’re having a good time, that’s what it’s all about.
Where did your youth and schooling/education take place?
I was schooled in East London, I went to Gonubie Primary School and then finished off my schooling at Dale College, very good memories!
Who is/was your role model, inspiration or childhood hero and why?
Growing up, I really enjoyed playing cricket and looked up to Daryll Cullinan as a sportsman, while in rugby, Corne Krige’s style of play was something I really enjoyed.
What motivates you?
I think the challenge of every day and every week, performing at your peak. There is so much competition within our team for positions, so to step up to the challenge week in and week out to cement your place in the side.
What defines greatness?
That’s a great question, I think anyone whose name has been timeless; you remember the people who stood out above the rest.
How do you let off steam? Play hard or relaxed?
Definitely relaxed. Playing hard means it’s good to get away from rugby and step out of that intensity, hanging out with mates, playing golf, that kind of thing.
What’s your ultimate holiday destination either as a dream or place you go to regularly?
A good watering ground used to be Kei Mouth in the Eastern Cape, it was an absolutely fantastic place, I went there for many years. I think somewhere I’d love to go is a place like Greece for a holiday and spend some time in the sun.
What are your five most prized possessions?
My watch, my phone – definitely my phone – my TV, my bed, I love it. Oh, and my new space-age pillow I got from my physio.
Thanks to www.sharksrugby.co.zaTweet