SA Rugby magazine chats to the Paarl Gym winger.
DU PLESSIS ON …
BEING SELECTED FOR THE WESTERN PROVINCE U16 GRANT KHOMO WEEK SQUAD LAST YEAR
‘It felt great to be selected. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to play any games because I was out with a knee injury. But just being part of that team environment was amazing because Western Province are one of the strongest unions in South Africa.’
PLAYING SEVENS FOR WESTERN PROVINCE U17 LAST YEAR AND DEFENDING THEIR TITLE
‘It was a great experience to play with guys I look up to, like Damian Willemse [Paul Roos] and Manny Ras [Paarl Boys’]. It was also a huge honour to play alongside those who were in the team that won the title in 2014, some of whom had played for SA Schools and SA Schools Sevens.’
PLAYING FOR PAARL GYM’S 1st XV THIS SEASON
‘I’m really enjoying being part of the team. Paarl Gym have a really strong team and they look after their players. We’ve got [former Bok wing and Bulls backline coach] Pieter Rossouw as our coach this year, and it’s a big honour to be playing and training under him.’
PLAYING AT THE NORTH-SOUTH TOURNAMENT IN MARCH
‘Scoring a try in the win against Waterkloof was really special. We lost our second game against Garsfontein, but it was still an amazing experience.’
HIS GOALS FOR THE FUTURE
‘A big goal of mine is to play U18 Craven Week this year. I’d also like to make the Western Province Sevens side again and be selected for SA Schools and SA Schools Sevens. I’d like to play for the Stormers eventually, and sevens for the Blitzboks. It’s also been a dream of mine from a young age to play for the Springboks.’
HIS RUGBY HERO
‘Dan Carter. He’s very humble and has great leadership skills.’
HOW HIS DAD HAS INFLUENCED HIS RUGBY CAREER
‘My dad [Charl] has been one of the biggest influences in my career. From a young age he trained me, gave me a lot of advice and worked with me on my skills. He still helps with training.’
HIS BROTHER JP, WHO PLAYS FOR THE KINGS
‘JP playing for the Kings gives me a lot of motivation to work harder to take my rugby to the next level. He has a great deal of experience playing overseas and gives me a lot of advice. One thing he told me was to stay in South Africa and play through the ranks here.’
EIGHT THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HIM
– Was born in Bethlehem in the Free State.
– Attended Hoërskool Reitz in the Free State.
– Moved to the Western Cape in 2012 at the end of Grade 6.
– Started at Paarl Gym in Grade 7 and is now in Grade 11.
– Brother JP plays for the Kings in Super Rugby.
– Does athletics for Paarl Gym and his fastest 100m time is 10.6sec.
– Hobbies include fishing, swimming and spending time with his family.
– Would go into business if he didn’t become a professional rugby player.
PAARL GYM 1st XV COACH PIETER ROSSOUW
‘Muller is a phenomenal rugby player. I think he can go far in his rugby career. He’s very fast and has all the skills a backline player needs to be successful at the highest level. He benefits from playing sevens, which has helped improve his skill levels greatly.’
‘Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with your talent is your gift to God’ – Leo Buscaglia.
Skiing in the Alps with my family.
Favourite sports team?
Other teams: Griffons U12,
WP U13, WP U16, WP U17 Sevens
7 – The number of tries he scored during the provincial U17 sevens tournament last year
Compiled by Tyrone Engel
– This article first appeared in the June 2016 issue of SA Rugby magazine