Talking rugby and beards with Jaco van Tonder

Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :EP Kings, Original Content, Sharks on 21 Mar 2016 at 09:30
Tagged with : , , , , ,

“My earliest rugby memory was getting the ball and running around a few players to score five tries in a primary school match”, Sharks utility back, Jaco van Tonder said that was when he knew the rugby bug bit him.

Van Tonder has joined the Eastern Cape Super Rugby franchise, the Southern Kings, in 2016 after being released from the Sharks allowing him to play Super Rugby.

Not being part of the Southern Kings squad that travelled to New Zealand, van Tonder took time out of his busy training schedule to chat to Sharksworld.

Being sidelined for the past 12 months, van Tonder had his first run for the Southern Kings in their second round match against the Chiefs at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium a fortnight ago.

“It was amazing to be back on the pitch. My knee is 100% and the adrenaline was pumping through my legs which made it a bit numb in the end, but it went well”, said van Tonder.

Van Tonder came on as replacement for Jurgen Visser with 30 minutes left in the second half and almost scored a try with one of his first touches.

Van Tonder recalls the moment, “at first I couldn’t believe an open try line, I ran to the corner and thought it was a certain try, but unfortunately I got tackled quite well. I wanted to reach for the line but he pulled down my shoulder and I couldn’t reach for the line, a good tackle in the end”

Unfortunately van Tonder did not make the touring squad to New Zealand, but said he hoped they do really well and can win some games.

“Yes it was disappointing not making the squad, but it gave me motivation to work harder these two weeks and when I get my next opportunity I can be better and faster”.

Van Tonder said he is taking it week by week to improve his game and would also like for the team to get a few wins under their belts to get the supporters back to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Having come through the ranks at Craven Week for SWD and U19/U21 level at the Sharks, van Tonder says Sean Everitt and Brendan Venter have played a big role in his career.

“Biggest influence must be Sean Everitt, he was my coach form U19 up until I left the Sharks. He gave me that freedom to play my game and he always backed me and also Brendan Venter, he gave me a chance in 2013.

Having come a long way form “grassroots” to Super Rugby, van Tonder had some advice for the youngsters out there.

“Always work hard, never give up and don’t listen to what people say. There will always be negatives, show them wrong.”

They say beards are the new six pack, but in van Tonder’s case that might just be an eight pack, but what is the story behind the beard and what advice can you give us to grow the perfect beard.

“Yoh, I got that a couple of times. When I had my injury last year, I said to myself and actually made a bet with one of my mates, I’m going to grow my beard until I play my first match, but that now has happened and I’m actually liking my beard, so I’m just gonna keep it now,” and “just be patient.”

A big thank you to Jaco for his time and all the best for the season.

1 Comment

  • Good luck Jaco!!!

  • Comment 1, posted at 21.03.16 11:39:03 by JD Reply
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