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Catching up with Louis Ludik

Written by Benedict Chanakira (bchanakira2)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions on 20 Mar 2014 at 10:32
Tagged with : , , , , , , ,

Our man Benedict caught up with former Sharks Louis Ludik for a quick chat about life in the French leagues.

Benedict Chanakira- Hi Louis, how are you?

Louis Ludik - I’m very good thanks. I hope you are well Benedict. Enjoying the French lifestyle a lot.

BC- How are you settling in France? Is Ross Skeate helping?

LL - I’m settling in nicely thanks, yes Skeato is helping a lot. His French is very good so he is translating for us almost the whole time.

BC- How is your French? Are you fluent yet?

LL - Hahaha. No not yet. Learning every day but it’s a tough language to learn. Enjoying it though. We have French classes twice a week.

BC- Have you managed to meet up with any ex-Sharks players based in France?

LL - Yes we have hooked up with Rory [Kockott] in Castres, Jandre Marais in Bordeaux and after games we eat with the other team so get a chance to talk to the other South Africans then. There are a lot of us here…

BC- Who has been the toughest team and player you have faced recently?

LL - Lyon and La Rochelle are very tough. We played Aurillac this last weekend and played against a wing, Albert Valentin and he gave me a big hand-off, very strong guy!

BC- What do you miss most about South Africa?

LL - I miss my family, friends and understanding what everyone is saying!

BC- You have thrived in the utility player role and you were regarded as one of the most reliable players in South Africa. Are you playing in a similar role in France or are you finding yourself in one position?

LL - Yes I also find myself in a utility role at the moment. Playing 13 a lot at the moment but would like to play 15. The fullback at Agen is a very good young player and is doing well so it’s no use leaving him out!

BC- You currently play in Top 14 D2. How are your promotion hopes looking?

LL - Yea playing in the Pro D 2. We did very well in the first half of the competition but had a couple of losses of late. We are fourth at the moment so going to be very tough to go up.

BC- France, in fact European countries, are known for their great variety in fashion. How is Chamé enjoying it?

LL - Chamé is loving it. Everything is just extremely expensive in France and we are still converting everything from € to Rand. So we have to get use to everything being much more expensive that South Africa.

BC- What destinations have you visited in your time there? What was the most appealing place?

LL - Two weeks ago we drove to Monaco and saw a couple of places on the South-East coast. We loved Nice, Cassis, saw Aix-en-Provence and saw Freddy [Michalak] and his family in Toulon. We stayed in Nimes and saw Arles as well. Unbelievable places. We are so blessed and thankful to see these places.

BC- How have you found French Rugby? How would you rank it against Southern Hemisphere rugby?

LL - I’m very impressed with the Pro D 2. I didn’t think the level was going to be so high. There is a lot of talent in France. The level of professionalism just isn’t there here as in South Africa. A lot of players haven’t got to that mindset yet.

BC- Away games in France have widely been rumored to be not as important. As teams often send under strength teams. Is this the case?

LL - Yes normally they do send a ‘weaker’ team to play away, but its very important to rest the players as it is a very long season over here.

BC- Your friend Rory Kockott may well be a French Test player in a couple of months. Would you one day hope to use the residency rule to play Test Rugby?

LL - Yes he is doing very, very well over here. I’m very happy for him. If it happens and if it’s what God wants for me I would be grateful but it’s not a thing I am constantly thinking or dreaming about. I’m just enjoying rugby and life at the moment and working hard to find my feet.

BC- Is Super Rugby watched in Europe? How big is its fan base?

LL - Yes it is. It’s not as big as I thought. Most of the players watch the Top 14. Which is the top French league. There are a lot of games and good quality.

BC- Do you have any plans in place after rugby? A return to South Africa?

LL - I’m still studying. I would like go into sports conditioning after rugby but I’m still doing my BCom Accounting as well.

BC- Thanks Louis, all the best for the rest of the season.

LL - Thank you very much. Appreciate all the support. God bless.


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