South Africa’s rugby world champion and adidas ambassador has seemingly done it all - but he is nowhere near done.
I was playing for the Stormers in 2019 and I picked up a knee injury. At that stage of the year, I didn’t know if I would even make the World Cup. But I stayed with the Springboks the whole time.
I had to cycle on a stationary bike in the gym while the rest of the team was training. And I hated it. I really had to dig deep. Why do I hate cycling in the gym? Well, you’re seemingly going as fast as you can, but, yet, you aren’t moving… anywhere!
Some people think that just because you’re kept in the extended national rugby squad, you are automatically still set to make the final World Cup team.
But that’s not the mindset I had. I knew I had to work hard to make the trip to Japan.
Having made the squad, we then lost that first game against New Zealand and I felt out of place. I started to doubt myself, I started to think ‘is it actually good for me to be here? Am I not bringing the team down?’.
But coach Rassie Erasmus was amazing. He told us our form would come as long as we had the hunger for it and that we continued to work hard.
There’s nothing greater than that feeling when you know you have a challenge - but it’s just you that knows, and you battle with it in your head - those are the toughest challenges. And me coming through, along with my teammates, that was quite special.