bchanakira2

Interview with former Springbok star Andre Pretorius


Written by Benedict Chanakira (bchanakira2)

Posted in :Original Content on 7 Apr 2014 at 10:35
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Benedict caught up with the mercurial fly half for a chat.

Benedict Chanakira- Hi Andrè, How are you?

Andre Pretorius- Hi Benedict, I am very well thanks. The south west of France is treating me well. Except for my tan. This winter was brutal!

BC- What has Andre been up to recently? Life after Rugby?

Andre - I signed for US Carcassonne in the southwest of France and started here July 2013 . It has been quite a tough season but the team has held it together nicely the last month and the results have shown that. Whilst rugby takes up most of my time I am also trying to master the French language and for a Boertjie this can sometimes be a daunting task. You think in Afrikaans, translate in English and then have to speak in French.

BC- How did it feel winning the Rugby World Cup 2007?

Andre - Without a doubt my biggest accomplishment as a sportsman. It was such a privilege to be part of that team and to have won the tournament too was just amazing. I learnt a lot through all of that and I would never take that experience for granted.

BC- Jake White is back at the Sharks, tell us about him from your Springbok experiences.

Andre - He is one of the best coaches in the world in my opinion. Jake knows how to work with the players and with individuals. He knew I needed to be outside of my comfort zone for me to perform and thats where he kept me. He had different relationships with different players but the team was always his priority. You can look, everywhere he goes there is a big improvement and sometimes without superstars. The Brumbies players are now attributing their current form and success to his structures.

BC- Who are the best player(s) you have played with?

Andre - I made my debut for The Lions in 1999 when Laurie Mains moved Hennie Le Roux to center so I could play flyhalf. Hennie has a great rugby mind and had the skills to back it up. Japie Mulder is another player whom I admired for his work ethic and his attitude on the field. Some teams have big names and its easy to say they are the best players you have played with but with the Lions we never had a lot of Superstars (like Jaque Fourie). We had a lot of special team players like Ernst Joubert, Heinke vd Merwe, Jano Vermaak who never really got the praise they deserved publicly but they got it from who it mattered…. The Team.

BC- Tell me about that last minute penalty in Rustenburg against the All Blacks? It is believed to have saved Jake’s job.

Andre - Firstly I would like to say that I don’t think that saved Jake’s job. Jake saved his own job by getting us to win that match. I love that memory of the Royal Bafokeng erupting after the ball went over and when the whistle went for full time the happiness in the team and the relief was unbelievable. Jake gave me the man of the match Springbok skin that night which made it even more special for me.

BC- You have played for several teams and worked under different coaches. Who made the most impact on your career?

Andre - It took me 11 years to move for the first time. That is when I moved to Perth to join the Western Force. The Force had a really big impact on me because of how they manage their players and how far ahead they were with rugby technology. I joined the Sharks for the 2010 Currie Cup and there one man opened my eyes to rehabilitation how it is supposed to be done…JIMMY WRIGHT. Jimmy is not the limelight type but he does amazing work with and for the players. He has a passion for life and the wellbeing of others and even though he was a very busy man he still had time to meet you for coffee and ask how things were outside of rugby. His positive outlook on life rubs off on you and to him that is success.

BC- Which stadium has the best atmosphere to you?

Andre - Ellis Park but when I played Sevens World Cup in 2001, that Mar del Plata stadium was also full of life!

BC- You have battled with injuries through your career. Fought back countless times. Tell us about those battles?

Andre - Injuries are a part of this great game. Some players hardly ever get injured and some more often. I accepted that I was part of the latter but where I was blessed was that I had some of the best professionals helping me to get back on the field. From the day of the injury to the day of return they would assist and help where they are needed. Dr. Fief Ferreira, operated on all my foot injuries and there were some bad ones but he fixed them again and again.
Dr. Ferguson in Rosebank helped me with all my groin and hamstring injuries. The list goes on and on and to all of those people I am truly grateful.

BC- You were part of the victorius Sharks squad of 2010. What was it like?

Andre - Another big moment for me especially after we (Lions) lost our final in 2002 against the Bulls 31-7. Derick Hougaard played the game of his life. As a player you never know how many finals you will be part of.

BC- How highly do you rate Pat Lambie who you vied for the number 10 jersey?

Andre - Pat is an amazing player and very composed and that’s what makes him a good 10. He is also very humble and has a willingness to learn which is not very common with today’s youngsters.

BC- Tell us about your short stints in France and Australia?

Andre - Perth is great place to live and raise a family. I enjoyed my time over there with the team and unfortunately had to return because of an injury. My first stint in France was with Toulon. The first month was quite difficult until Bernard Laporte came to coach. He turned my experience around with his coaching. I enjoy French culture so it was never a problem being in France and getting to know the locals.

BC- What is your greatest achievement and disappointment?

Andre - The World Cup in 2007 has to be my greatest achievement.
My biggest disappointment would have to be the season I never had with the Force. I was in the best shape after a very hard pre season and was feeling good for the tournament. I tore my hamstring off the bone and was out for 8 months.

BC- Who will win Super Rugby? Your former sides are doing well : Lions, Force and Sharks. Any of them?

Andre - Benedict you are asking the wrong man! My superbru picks will tell you why! The Lions are doing well and they have hit their stride at home which is good because they don’t have a lot of depth and when you tour the injuries can sometimes pile up. The Sharks are doing well and they have depth so yes I think they will definitely be in the last 4. The Force is a mixed bag. At home they have also looked good but lets wait and see how they do without the MIB Faithful behind them. Sias is doing really well there and I hope his form continues.

BC- You are an avid Chelsea football fan. Have you watched them live?

Andre - Yes a TRUE BLUE!!!! We are actually going out to watch PSG vs Chelsea in the Champions League Quarter final. (Watched on the 2nd of April)
No unfortunately I have missed the Springbok tours when they went to watch Chelsea play and even got inside the changeroom. Bryan Habana sent me a pic with Frank Lampard.

BC- Any advice to aspiring you players out there?

Andre - Master the real basic skill. You must be able to pass either way no matter what your position as all players now are ball players and be a teamman even when it is difficult to be one. Building up your teammates instead of breaking them down after a mistake can make a big difference.

BC- Thanks Andre!



60 Comments

  • A true legend of the game! I wish that we could have seen more of him for the Boks!

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.04.14 10:51:01 by ChrisS Reply
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  • Great flyhalf, but injuries really hampered his carreer

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.04.14 13:48:11 by Mutley Reply
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  • I remember the hit put on him by the Samoan Chiropractor in the ’07 wc….Lima came off second best and had to leave the field injured and carded.

    Pretorius ain’t no Derrick Houghaard. :twisted:

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.04.14 13:56:43 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • Nice interview. Geez, how hard must it be to learn French and then have to translate the English back into Afrikaans. Respect for those guys!

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.04.14 14:34:13 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
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  • Try Impi’s

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.04.14 14:36:28 by BR Reply
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  • Great try from 1st phase possession

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.04.14 14:37:14 by BR Reply
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  • 0-8 5min

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.04.14 14:38:10 by BR Reply
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  • Uj going for touch 5m out from impi’s line out

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.04.14 14:41:21 by BR Reply
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  • Try UJ

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.04.14 14:41:45 by BR Reply
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  • 5-8 10min

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.04.14 14:43:02 by BR Reply
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  • Possible try for impi’s

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.04.14 14:47:08 by BR Reply
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  • No try 2nd movement

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.04.14 14:48:05 by BR Reply
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  • Possible try uj

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.04.14 14:53:01 by BR Reply
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  • No try foul play , yellow card uj

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.04.14 14:54:59 by BR Reply
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  • @BR (Comment 14) : Keep it coming, thanks for the effort. :grin:

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.04.14 14:56:14 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • 2nd try uj

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.04.14 15:01:50 by BR Reply
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  • Conversion over

  • Comment 17, posted at 07.04.14 15:02:10 by BR Reply
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  • 13-8 24min

  • Comment 18, posted at 07.04.14 15:02:29 by BR Reply
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  • Impi’s probing , looking much better than last week

  • Comment 19, posted at 07.04.14 15:03:33 by BR Reply
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  • Penalty on uj 22m going for touch

  • Comment 20, posted at 07.04.14 15:04:07 by BR Reply
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  • Do you even know how to forum? ;-)

  • Comment 21, posted at 07.04.14 15:04:38 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
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  • Turnover from the maul trouble for impi’s

  • Comment 22, posted at 07.04.14 15:04:54 by BR Reply
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  • Impi’s back in their own 22m

  • Comment 23, posted at 07.04.14 15:05:54 by BR Reply
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  • Brilliant kick from Campbell

  • Comment 24, posted at 07.04.14 15:06:50 by BR Reply
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  • 13-8 h/t

  • Comment 25, posted at 07.04.14 15:23:14 by BR Reply
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  • @BR (Comment 25) : So we’re still in it, or are we barely hanging on?

  • Comment 26, posted at 07.04.14 15:23:48 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • UJ look quite a bit stronger in the set pieces…we’ve had some good chances to score, but turnovers have cost us dearly! Except for their second try, our defence has been good. Come on boys…big effort in the second half!!

  • Comment 27, posted at 07.04.14 15:31:25 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Great touch finder Campbell!! Their number 1 pinged for scrumming up…finally! Attacking lineout…argh! Steal…but now attacking scrum from a knock on…

  • Comment 28, posted at 07.04.14 15:35:27 by pastorshark Reply
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  • And penalty to UJ…frustration!

  • Comment 29, posted at 07.04.14 15:36:06 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 26) : still in it just too many like pastor shark said Campbell by far the best player for impi’s

  • Comment 30, posted at 07.04.14 15:39:07 by BR Reply
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  • Another turnover from the maul

  • Comment 31, posted at 07.04.14 15:40:19 by BR Reply
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  • Poor “in front of the kicker” call by the ref…but our lineoits and malling not great…

  • Comment 32, posted at 07.04.14 15:42:14 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Uj on attack inside impi’s 22

  • Comment 33, posted at 07.04.14 15:42:36 by BR Reply
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  • Oops…that should be “lineouts” and “mauling!” UJ on attack…

  • Comment 34, posted at 07.04.14 15:43:26 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Penalty uj not rolling away

  • Comment 35, posted at 07.04.14 15:43:43 by BR Reply
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  • Going for touch

  • Comment 36, posted at 07.04.14 15:44:11 by BR Reply
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  • UJ score…their setpieces are just so much better…

  • Comment 37, posted at 07.04.14 15:45:05 by pastorshark Reply
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  • 3rd try for uj

  • Comment 38, posted at 07.04.14 15:45:05 by BR Reply
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  • Ai tog…well thanks for the updates, let’s hope they can achieve the seemingly impossible….one thing’s for sure…should they miraculously go through, this won’t be the quality of player representing them next year. (well hopefully not, save for Campbell)

  • Comment 39, posted at 07.04.14 15:45:38 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • 20-8 55min

  • Comment 40, posted at 07.04.14 15:46:17 by BR Reply
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  • Conversion good: 21-8…

  • Comment 41, posted at 07.04.14 15:46:26 by pastorshark Reply
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  • We need to score next, but not too much of a base to do it from…our forwards need to work hard here!!

  • Comment 42, posted at 07.04.14 15:47:27 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Noooo…great opportunity chucked by a forward pass…

  • Comment 43, posted at 07.04.14 15:48:07 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes…penalty kicked out in goal…scrum all the way back in our half!! UJ have all the territory and possesion…

  • Comment 44, posted at 07.04.14 15:51:18 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Noooooo!!! Penalty kicked out in goal AGAIN! Poor…game slipping away at the final strategy break…

  • Comment 45, posted at 07.04.14 15:52:28 by pastorshark Reply
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  • UJ strong on the attack…cynical defence…yellow card against UKZN…

  • Comment 46, posted at 07.04.14 15:57:25 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Good defence at the mall for the first time…but try time UJ anyway…4th try…

  • Comment 47, posted at 07.04.14 15:58:21 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Conversion good: 29-8…64 mins…game over…

  • Comment 48, posted at 07.04.14 15:59:52 by pastorshark Reply
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  • A lot of heart from our boys, but the step up against a Varsity Cup side was just too big…

  • Comment 49, posted at 07.04.14 16:01:30 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 48) : At least you get a second star for your efforts :lol:

  • Comment 50, posted at 07.04.14 16:02:23 by FireTheLooser Reply

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  • 5th try UJ…37-8…

  • Comment 51, posted at 07.04.14 16:07:19 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 50) : :) :) :)

  • Comment 52, posted at 07.04.14 16:08:12 by pastorshark Reply
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  • :( Make that 6th try UJ…42-8…

  • Comment 53, posted at 07.04.14 16:13:39 by pastorshark Reply
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  • Full-time…42-8…but a pretty good season for our boys and the coaching staff…can’t help thinking we missed our best chance last week against CUT…

  • Comment 54, posted at 07.04.14 16:17:30 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 52) : thanx for the updates, but I must say I always thought that the gap between Varsity Cup teams and Varsity Shield teams would be to much for the Impis to overcome. Real pity as they had a great season, but hey there’s always next year! !!!!! Go Impi!!!!!!!

  • Comment 55, posted at 07.04.14 16:22:56 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 55) : No problem! Monday is my day off!! But the next promotion opportunity to Varsity Cup is only in two years time in 2016…so it’s a pity we missed out this year…but a good start to the project to get a KZN side into the Varsity Cup…

  • Comment 56, posted at 07.04.14 16:28:13 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 54) : yes that was the best chance they had for promotion, but maybe it’s a good thing if they play another season of Varsity Shield and maybe if I dare to dream win it, rather than going up against the big boys of Varsity Cup and getting demolished each week.

  • Comment 57, posted at 07.04.14 16:28:29 by JD Reply
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  • @JD (Comment 57) : Yes, I reckon you’re right…great start in John Mitchell’s first year, but need to keep building our structures and player base…I’m confident we’ll get there…

  • Comment 58, posted at 07.04.14 16:36:17 by pastorshark Reply
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  • @pastorshark (Comment 58) : John had a super start coaching the Impis. Now if only the Impis and the Sharks Academy can start to work together then maybe in a year or two KZN may have a team that can hold their own in the Varsity Cup.

  • Comment 59, posted at 07.04.14 16:51:18 by JD Reply
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  • I HAVE NO TIME TO EXPAND – BUT – WHAT a GREAT article!!!!!!!

  • Comment 60, posted at 09.04.14 13:00:08 by [email protected] Reply

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