MARIETTE ADAMS chats to the Grey College inside centre and vice-captain.
PRETORIUS ON …
THE GREY COLLEGE VICE-CAPTAINCY
‘To be part of the leadership group of this prestigious school is an honour and I’m doing everything in my power to assist my captain.’
BALANCING ACADEMICS AND SPORT
‘We practise every day after school when other kids do homework, work on projects and study. I do all of that in the evening after training, but it is challenging when you live in the hostel, without your parents looking over your shoulder to keep you in check. It comes down to self-discipline.’
HIS PREFERRED FORM OF THE GAME
‘Before my selection for the U18 Sevens Academy team earlier this year, I didn’t really consider playing sevens. But after the tournament in Namibia, where I captained the side, playing sevens professionally is now definitely an option. My goal is still to play Super Rugby and then Test rugby, but I’ve realised there is another
way to represent your country in rugby if you don’t make it in the longer form of the game.’
HIS MIDFIELD PARTNERSHIP WITH JANCO VAN HEYNINGEN
‘We’ve played together since Grade 9 and have developed a solid understanding and appreciation for each other. I feel more at ease with him on my outside. We complement each other well and know what the other is thinking of doing.’
PLAYING CRAVEN WEEK AND SA SCHOOLS
‘It’s quite ironic that I got to play for them. I was in Grade 11 last year and on standby for the 1st XV. A spate of injuries struck Grey in pre-season and I was drafted into the team. At the time, I thought the season could not get any better. Then I made the Free State Craven Week squad and a call-up to the SA Schools squad followed. I was bursting with pride and happiness. My one worry was that they’d play me out of position, as there were many good centres in the SA Schools squad. Luckily, I was the first-choice centre, so it worked out pretty well. I hope to play for Free State and SA Schools again this year. It will help me to grow as a player.’
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HIM
– Grew up in Upington and attended Laerskool Oranje-Noord.
– Youngest of two children (his sister works in England).
– His dad taught him rugby in their garden.
– Went to Grey College on a scholarship.
– Played for Griquas at the U13 Craven Week in 2012.
– Missed out on U16 Grant Khomo Week selection in 2015 due to injury.
– Played for SA Schools in 2016 and captained the SA U18 Sevens Academy in 2017.
– Was an avid cricketer, but chose to focus on rugby.
WESSEL DU PLESSIS (GREY COLLEGE 1st XV)
‘Rikus is a prodigious talent. Grey is a talent factory when it comes to rugby players, but every so often there is a kid who comes through the ranks and you just know he is destined for great things. Rikus is one of them. His big physique and unique skills set him apart. His humility and work ethic are his greatest attributes. I can guarantee he will be a midfield force to be reckoned with in the near future, if he continues to work hard and stays grounded.’
Position: Inside centre
Other teams: Griquas U13, Free State U18, SA U18 Sevens Academy, SA Schools
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Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images