Ex-Bull on life in France

2014-08-28 11:34
Heini Adams ready for Bulls (Gallo)
Cape Town - Former Bulls scrumhalf Heini Adams says he is is enjoying his rugby in France at Top 14 club Bordeaux.

Adams, 34, left the Bulls in 2010 after growing frustrated with a lack of game time.

In an interview with the MyPlayers website, Adams said life is going very well in France.

"I’m lucky to find myself in a city with friendly people, who respect my family. I guess it has a lot to do with the role I’ve played in the club’s progression in recent years. When I arrived in 2010, Bordeaux were stuck in the second tier, which is a semi-professional league. But after a good 2010-11 campaign, we worked our way into the French Top 14. We now aim to secure a top-six place to qualify for the European competition. We missed out on a top-six place by two log points last season."

Adams said he got the timing of his move to abroad spot on.

"It was time to move on. After six successful seasons with the Bulls, which saw us win three Super Rugby titles and two Currie Cups titles, I struggled to get starting opportunities. Especially after Francois Hougaard was promoted to the senior team. The move to France offered me something special, and I’m lucky that my family could be part of the adventure."

Adams also revealed he has changed his game a bit playing in the Northern Hemisphere.

"In the southern hemisphere, the scrumhalves and flyhalves are protected. But in Europe, the halfbacks have to contribute on defence and are forced to get physical. That’s because European games are more of a wrestling match, while Super Rugby games are quicker and offer more space. That’s why I wear a scrum-cap. I’ve been knocked out quite a few times over here, so my head needs protection! I’m happy with the way I’ve adapted. I made the French Barbarians squad in 2012, so that proves I must be doing something right."

Adams, who has extended his stay with Bordeaux for a further two years, says he returns home to the Boland as often as he can.

"We spend a month in my hometown Worcester during the off-season, so Lynn and I can visit our parents. I also get involved in community projects with the local schools. Whether it's financial assistance, running practices or passing advice on to youngsters, I'm always happy to help. I've actually started my own foundation recently.

"It's called the AJ Rugby Foundation. It's named after the man, Andre Jordaan, who mentored me when I was a youngster from the rural Boland area. He used to drive me around and finance me. If it wasn't for him, I would never have made it as a professional rugby player. He died a few years ago, so this foundation will be remembered as his legacy. The foundation is aimed at young teens, especially those from the rural areas. We want to help motivate them to achieve their rugby dreams, whether it's in terms of development or creating a path to an academy or rugby union. I want to set up something similar in France, and have a joint programme. I'm currently doing my coaching qualifications at a French sports school, so I have big plans for the AJ Rugby Foundation."
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Read more on:    french top 14  |  rugby

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