20 minutes with Riaan Viljoen

Written by Benedict Chanakira (bchanakira2)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 5 Jun 2014 at 09:28
Tagged with : , , , , ,

I had a chat with the humble Riaan. He was kind enough to fit me in on his busy schedule.

Benedict: Hi Riaan, how are you?

Riaan: I am good and you my friend?

B: Doing great, thanks. How are you settling in Japan? Have you adapted to the culture, language and playing style?

R: Japan is a very nice and friendly place, must say language is difficult but they give us Japanese lessons every week. Rugby style is completely different there is lots of running rugby but also very hard.

B: How competitive is the rugby in Japan?

R: The top 14 is very hard and every week is like a play-off game. It’s like Currie Cup you can say.

B: Fondest memory at the Shark Tank?

R: My fondest memory at the Shark Tank was scoring the try in the last minute against the Blues and when I look to my right it was my whole family there all celebrating. One moment in my life I will never forget.

B: Worst memory or most disappointing performance?

R: Worst moment was walking around the field in last years’ last game of Super Rugby against the Kings and knowing I’m not going to play there again.

B: Fastest player you have ever played with?

R: Bjorn Basson when we played at the Griquas.

B: You one of the successful players to come through the ranks from a small union (Falcons) to a Super Rugby side (Cheetahs then Sharks). How did you do it?

R: I think I always had that passion and real eagerness to play with the best and against the best. So I always tried to play every game as if it was my last and hoped people would recognize me and give me a chance.

B: How was it touring with the Springboks in 2009? How was the atmosphere?

R: It was a childhood dream come true. Amazing experience.

B: How is the family coping with the change? What do you miss in South Africa?

R: It’s hard on the family, with me in Japan and they all in Ballito but we all know why it is like this. It is not nice being away from your loved ones so I will say that’s the biggest thing I miss about South Africa.

B: You were gifted with versatility. What is your favorite position?

R: I really like to play fullback but for me it’s all just about playing and getting my hands on the ball.

B: Biggest hit you have ever given?

R: I am not a big hit guy but I have taken a few big ones.

B: Longest drop-goal you ever kicked?

R: I was playing against the Brumbies for the Cheetahs and I nailed one from about 64m.

B: Can you use chopsticks?

R: Must say it took me some time but now I think I’m really good with them.

B: Thanks Riaan !

R: Its a pleasure, Have a nice day.


  • Thanks Benedict! Always enjoyed watching Riaan play.

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.06.14 11:41:12 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Another good interview. I always enjoyed Riaan, well maybe not so much when he used to give the Sharks the run around. He clearly enjoyed his time at the Sharks.

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.06.14 11:49:26 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • He was definitely at his best for the Griquas/Cheetahs. Lost a bit of mojo when he played for the Shark; but that’s understandable given John Plumtree’s ‘fondness’ for adventurous rugby.

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.06.14 13:31:03 by The Great Couch Shark Reply
    The Great Couch Shark
  • Yes never really found his feet at the Sharks but I still like him and think he’s a quality players.

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.06.14 17:17:50 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Japanese rugby = “like Currie Cup”…that explains it.

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.06.14 18:29:50 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Just wanna say that Benedict does awesome work with these interviews.

    Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

  • Comment 6, posted at 06.06.14 10:08:32 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 6) : Definitely

  • Comment 7, posted at 06.06.14 10:39:31 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • So who has the record for longest dropkick? Viljoen or Frans?!

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.06.14 14:37:04 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 8) : both very long!!!

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.06.14 15:56:11 by JD Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Administrator
  • Was tempted to ask if they competed to see who had the longest drop! #riaanifancy

  • Comment 10, posted at 08.06.14 12:18:53 by bchanakira2 Reply

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