The life of the ageless Stefan Terblanche

Written by Benedict Chanakira (bchanakira2)

Posted in :Original Content on 24 Apr 2015 at 09:34
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From humble beginnings at Boland Cavaliers, to playing for the Sharks and the Springboks. Stefan Terblanche was dubbed the fittest man on the rugby scene. A myth had him as a fat-less muscle man. Benedict Chanakira managed to talk to Stefan about race car driving, clowns, his time in Wales and much more…

Benedict: Howzit Stefan, How are you?
Stefan: Very good thanks and thanks for the interview.

Benedict: What inspired becoming a rugby player?
Stefan: I loved all the sports growing up in the small town of Swellendam. I had to take part in all of them. The oval ball appealed to me in particular.

Benedict: You managed to play in South Africa, Wales and Ireland. One can say you have played at every level; retiring at the age 37. How did you manage to prolong your career? What was the secret?
Stefan: Always staying fit and as best prepared as I could be for every single game. Thankfully injuries stayed away and it kept me on the field and in touch with the ever changing pace and trends in rugby.

Benedict: Tell us about your time in Wales and the brief spell you had in Ireland with Ulster. How was it?
Stefan: I loved every moment of it and the people made it special in Swansea and Belfast.

Benedict: You were an exceptional player and very versatile. Your try scoring record was brilliant, last line of defence who was reliable and you had a good boot. What was your favorite position?
Stefan: It was fullback without a doubt but had to play all sorts of positions to make the team at the different stages.

Benedict: No name mentioning, Tell us a funny tour story from your playing days?
Stefan: My roommate set off the fire alarm of the whole hotel in Sydney while smoking in the bathroom of our hotel room. We were the only two lonely souls in the whole hotel while everyone else gathered in the parking lot. Very funny for us but not sure about all the other guests. Those days some rugby players still smoked, I think not many anymore.

Benedict: What is the highlight of your playing career? If you had to re-do something again. What would it have been?
Stefan: I would have played my whole career at Fullback. Highlights? Every single time I played to my full potential and had a good game according to my own standards. That made me really happy. Some games we lost and some of them were even highlights as I knew that I gave it my all, the team gave it their all but on the day the opposition was just too good.

Benedict: What is the South African Rugby Legends Association?
Stefan: It’s an Association where the ex-players give back to the game of rugby through their passion for the game. We do this by coaching but also through a thousand other ways. Supporting charities, raising money for other ex-players fallen on hard times, climbing mountains, cycling races, overseas trips, development programs for rugby and other sports, guest speaking to mention a few things.

Benedict: What does your role as an Executive with the South African Rugby Legends entail?
Stefan: Overseeing the process of making sure that we keep the ex-players profiles up. To make sure that we deliver what we promised our loyal sponsors when it comes to rugby development and improving the lives of our fellow South Africans.

Benedict: Tell me about your experiences with Archie Rutherford (Race car driver). What brought that experience about?
Stefan: Its an unbelievable outing in a racing car for the last 3 years and still loving it. When you are contracted and play rugby for a professional team there are certain things that you can’t do. Going in a racing car is one of them and when Terence Marsh from the Regent Racing Team approached me to co-pilot for Archie I said yes immediately. I love a challenge.

Benedict: Can we expect an autobiography?
Stefan: I don’t think so but never say never.

Benedict: What one detail do people not know about you?
Stefan: I am very scared of clowns.

Benedict: Who will win Super Rugby 2015 ?
Stefan: Chiefs looking good again and also the Hurricanes. Lets hope a SA team can get a home play-off and we might have an outside chance.

Benedict: What is your favorite music?
Stefan: I love music and anything from Guns and Roses to Classical music can hit the spot at the right time.

Benedict: Thanks for your time Stefan!


  • Thanks Benedict, Stefan is without a doubt one of my all-time favourite players. I though this answer was particularly interesting: “I would have played my whole career at Fullback.”

  • Comment 1, posted at 24.04.15 09:38:45 by vanmartin Reply
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  • Great interview, great guy.

    I remeber a few years back at a Currie Cup game against Boland in Wellington, there was a long break in play for an injury to one of their props who Jean Deysel had just run over, it was clear that there were a lot of precautions to be taken in treating the player on the field and that there would be a long break in play. The stadium announcer decided to fill this time with giving us a run down of Stefans (also a favourite son of Boland rugby) career and achievemnts. It was a mighty impressive rugby cv and Stefan acknowledged it, head down with a raised hand to the appreciative crowd.

  • Comment 2, posted at 24.04.15 10:00:25 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : And what a fullback he was…until Plum shifted him to outside centre 🙄

    The quint essential gentleman of rugby – we need more players to emulate his character.

  • Comment 3, posted at 24.04.15 10:03:18 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Absolute legend. I still think he should have been involved as some sort of conditioning guru at the Sharks

  • Comment 4, posted at 24.04.15 10:57:45 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @Culling Song (Comment 4) : I don’t think any of the Sharks players would agree with you – P.A.I.N 😈

  • Comment 5, posted at 24.04.15 11:00:03 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • Stefan Terblanche and Jacques Botes were two players that, for me, epitomized the quality of character I would like to see in all Sharks players

  • Comment 6, posted at 24.04.15 11:39:34 by Culling Song Reply
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    Culling Song
  • @Culling Song (Comment 6) : I wish there was some way in which I could agree more with this statement but it has consumed every ounce of agreeableness within me.

  • Comment 7, posted at 24.04.15 12:01:57 by vanmartin Reply
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  • One word. Stalwart.

  • Comment 8, posted at 24.04.15 12:29:53 by Sharkfinn Reply

  • Everything you want from a pro rugby player.

    Just the consummate professional.

  • Comment 9, posted at 24.04.15 13:08:27 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Legend!

  • Comment 10, posted at 24.04.15 15:30:53 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 3) : That wasn’t Plum it was Nick Mallet,

  • Comment 11, posted at 24.04.15 16:55:14 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 11) : You havent been around here long enough to know that there are certain things that are all Plums doing,…. Your dogs pregnancy in 2012, that was Plum.

  • Comment 12, posted at 24.04.15 17:05:43 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • LEGEN……wait for it…… DARY!

  • Comment 13, posted at 24.04.15 19:01:41 by JarsonX Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 6) : yes for sure they played for the team and not the glory!!!!

  • Comment 14, posted at 25.04.15 01:45:50 by JD Reply
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  • Benedict: What one detail do people not know about you?
    Stefan: I am very scared of clowns.

    So that explains why he was always shivering and cowering when the Sharks faced the Bulls 😀

    Was one of my favorite Boks as well, epitomized what a player can achieve with hard work, and showing what a gentleman he is by what he is putting back into the game as well.

    He was also a good guest when invited to the SuperSport studio. Wonder why is isn’t invited anymore?
    He is miles better than Bros, AJ and Owen, to name a few

  • Comment 15, posted at 25.04.15 08:53:00 by deano Reply

  • @The hound (Comment 11) : Nick Mallet moved Terblanche to 13 at the Sharks? – how do you figure that?

  • Comment 16, posted at 25.04.15 09:45:47 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @deano (Comment 15) : Asked and answered 😉

  • Comment 17, posted at 25.04.15 11:24:09 by vanmartin Reply
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  • “I would have played my whole career at Fullback.”

    You hit the nail squarely on the head Stefan!

  • Comment 18, posted at 25.04.15 11:54:58 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 18) : Well if he had he would have had to wait a mighty long time to make his Bok debut, or hold the SA record for most tries scored in a game.

  • Comment 19, posted at 25.04.15 12:21:04 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • His 4 tries on debut, and that against a “serious” rugby nation, playing on the wing.


  • Comment 20, posted at 25.04.15 12:23:23 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 20) : Sorry, that was just meant o have been a link to the video.

  • Comment 21, posted at 25.04.15 12:24:20 by Salmonoid the Subtle Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 19) : I was referring to him being moved to 13.

  • Comment 22, posted at 25.04.15 12:25:57 by Ben Reply
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  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 21) : shit, that was a good side.

  • Comment 23, posted at 25.04.15 12:57:03 by robdylan Reply
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  • I hate the Bulls. I also hate the Stormers. Can we have a 0-0 result please.

  • Comment 24, posted at 25.04.15 15:03:20 by Feather Reply

    Gold's Member
  • The Lions and Cheetahs can play to a 100-100 result for all I care. I don’t mind the whipping boys going hammer and tongs at each other.

  • Comment 25, posted at 25.04.15 15:04:53 by Feather Reply

    Gold's Member
  • @Salmonoid the Subtle (Comment 20) : @robdylan (Comment 23) : Great supporting lines. Thanks for the clip Salmo!

  • Comment 26, posted at 25.04.15 17:50:09 by vanmartin Reply
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  • @Feather (Comment 24) : @Feather (Comment 25) : problem is all four thses teams playing a brand/style rugby way above that of the Sharks with skills to boot,so now what

  • Comment 27, posted at 26.04.15 14:46:40 by benji Reply
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  • @benji (Comment 27) : I’ve made my views on the “solution” pretty clear. More extreme than most. But I do not see any coach presently with the Sharks to be good enough. Including our Director of Rugby. Why prolong the pain?

    Just grateful to have a Shark free weekend for a change. Look at me, would I ever have dreamed of saying that? Something seriously rotten in the state of Denmark.

  • Comment 28, posted at 26.04.15 17:42:31 by Feather Reply

    Gold's Member
  • After 10 games the Lions are ahead of us on the table. That says it all…

  • Comment 29, posted at 26.04.15 17:46:09 by Feather Reply

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  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 16) : He played his first senior rugby under Mallett at Boland,and that Bok game above also under Mallett who had moved him to wing.When he arrived at Natal,Andre Joubert was the fullback,and Plum was only an assistant coach.Get your facts right before you start throwing stones.

  • Comment 30, posted at 26.04.15 19:45:19 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 30) : That time of the month, hey?

  • Comment 31, posted at 26.04.15 22:53:09 by Ben Reply
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  • @Feather (Comment 29) : @Feather (Comment 28) : exactly and fully agreed

  • Comment 32, posted at 27.04.15 08:22:18 by benji Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 30) : I’ll try to type very slowly, as you seem to be confused…again 🙄

    When Terblanche came back from Europe, which position did he play at the Sharks? – FULLBACK (exclusively)

    Then, Plum decided to move him to which position? – OUTSIDE CENTRE

    I do not recall any other coach (other than Plum) moving him to OUTSIDE CENTRE (or fullback for that matter – but I’ll accept it if my memory is a bit foggy), and I know that he made his name as a wing for both the Sharks and the Boks.

  • Comment 33, posted at 27.04.15 12:59:25 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 33) : That’s way too much information. He might get confused again after the second sentence. 🙄 😆

  • Comment 34, posted at 27.04.15 13:17:13 by Ben Reply
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  • @Ben (Comment 34) : I think you’re right…he’ll be back on here missing the point again, and I’ll get a third bite at the cherry – I’ll try using less words then 😈

  • Comment 35, posted at 27.04.15 13:31:49 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 35) : I kinda agree with comment 12.
    As good a fullback as Stefan would have been,I doubt he would have been better than Andre Joubert or Percy,two guys who kept him out of that position.He actually started his career at 10 and a lot of people who remember him playing there reckon that was his best position.But then I doubt if you or your flycatcher,@Ben (Comment 34) : can remember back that far probably both watching power rangers in those days.

  • Comment 36, posted at 28.04.15 08:17:12 by The hound Reply
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  • @The hound (Comment 36) : You still haven’t given any facts backing up your statement that Mallet moved Stefan to 13. 🙄

  • Comment 37, posted at 28.04.15 10:16:15 by Ben Reply
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