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Catching up with Swannie

Written by Benedict Chanakira (bchanakira2)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 30 Apr 2014 at 09:03
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , ,

Our man Benedict grabbed a few minutes with former Sharks centre Riaan Swanepoel this week.

Benedict Chanakira: Hey Riaan, how are you?
Riaan Swanepoel: I’m very good thank you.

BC: How has the family settled in France?
RS: We are settling in very nicely. It was tough at start being far away from family and friends, but I have my wife with my so I’m very happy.

BC: Since your role as a medical joker in 2011 at Clermont it has been a different world in your life? Will you return to South Africa?
RS: Yes I came over as medical joker to try out France and see how it would go. I honestly haven’t looked back at all. Yes I miss SA and the Sharks was a big part of my rugby career but I’m happy where I am now. (But you never know)

BC: Do you harbor dreams to play for the French?
RS: As a born South African we all dream to play for our country when you get older,maybe I missed it or maybe there is still a chance!! When I can qualify to play for France and if I do well and get the opportunity-yes, I will definitely want to play for France!!

BC: You have been one of the key performers for Brive? How is the club?
RS: Thank you! I enjoy Brive very much – the people and the club are very good to me and my wife. It’s a small club/town but they are the most passionate supporters I know!! Everyone at the club works well together and bonds well as a family.

BC: You are in crutches and just started rehabilitation. How is it coming along?
RS: Yes I unfortunately I broke my fibia and tore the ligaments in my ankle. It’s tough sometimes because I am the type of person that likes to keep busy and active, and even more difficult now because my wife’s pregnant. At the start using the crutches was tricky but now I have mastered the art of using them. Yes you do fall,it has happened 3 times already. I don’t enjoy injuries, but ‘c’est la vie’

BC: Who was your boyhood hero?
RS: There are a few, I loved Danie Gerber when I was young. Tana Umaga, Carlos Spencer, Tiaan Strauss because my dad loved him. Henry Honiball and then still a big favourite and I’ve had the priviledge of playing against him… Johnny Wilkinson.

BC: Who do you think is the most underrated player you have played with?
RS: There are a few that I have played with over the years, but at this moment it’s Petrus Human the flank for Brive. He is very good and a skillful player and I rate him.

BC: Your versatility receives a lot of praise. This includes rave reviews. Which position is your favorite?
RS: I played mainly centre at the Sharks but since I have been in France I have been playing a bit of 10 and 15. I played 10 this season and enjoyed it. At this moment 10 is my favourite – I like to control the game and have the ball in my hands.

BC: What was the most memorable moment you experienced in the Sharks black and white?
RS: It would be my debut against Boland. Scoring a try with my first touch. Winning the Currie Cup 2008. Currie Cup Final 2010 will stand out the most and wining it!!

BC: Clermont have an impressive record at home. What is the secret?
RS: “C’est incroyable ” good players, good coach and great supporters in Clermont.

B: How often do you meet up with other South Africans there for a traditional braai?
RS: There are five of us South Africans here and Charl van Rensburg is also here so we often have a traditional braai!! It’s a must!!

B: Do you have a message for the Sharks fans back home?
RS: Sharks fan base is the best in SA by far. You mean a lot to the players by standing behind them and cheering them on “on and off ” the field. Thanks for cheering me on when I played there it was a great experience. Black and white nothing else matters.

B: Thanks Riaan, get smashing people soon.
RS: Thanks


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