Lwazi Mvovo chats to Sport24
Cape Town - In an exclusive interview, Sharks and
Springbok fullback-cum-wing LWAZI MVOVO talks wedding plans, which comedian makes him laugh the loudest, and the Rugby World Cup
heroes he would invite for dinner.
asked: Since the Sharks’ final Super Rugby game of 2015, what has occupied your
Mvovo: I enjoyed a break game-wise which revitalised
the body and mind, but I’ve been on a training programme since our last Super
Rugby match in order to be prepared for the rest of the season that lies ahead.
Away from my rugby commitments, I’ve spent some quality time with my fiancée
Stephanie. We are very busy planning our wedding and hope to be married early
asked: Who do you room with at national level, and what are his best and worst
Mvovo: My room-mate on Springbok duty is Cornal
Hendricks. Don’t get me wrong, he is a great guy, but I think he is too neat
for his own good. With him, everything must be by the book – a dirty sock must
not be in sight. I’m not saying I’m messy in the room – I try to be neat – but
Cornal takes it to another level. I can only describe it as military-style. I
do, however, enjoy his Boyz II Men renditions. Cornal is serious about his
singing and always practices his favourite tunes in our room. I guess I am the
only judge. I’m not Simon Cowell, so I can’t really criticise. I tell him to
keep on going.
asked: Jake White said you have the potential to be the next Christian Cullen.
Mvovo: For Jake to compare me to one of the greats
in the game actually motivates me to work harder. Jake is the one who first
tried me at fullback, and I remember the training session when he came to me
and asked if I would play at No 15. A was surprised at first, because no coach
had ever asked me to play in that position. I have come to really enjoy the
role as you see more action than when you are stationed on the wing. I enjoy
reading the game from the last line of defence.
asked: You can also play wing. What does Heyneke Meyer regard as your best
Mvovo: Like Jake, Heyneke sees my long-term future
at fullback. He has told me that I am doing very well at fullback and he is
pleased with how my kicking game, in particular, has progressed. I have worked
hard on my tactical kicking and I feel my left foot is working very well. I have also practiced catching the high ball,
and am now more aware of when to run and when to kick.
asked: Who do you regard as the most proficient fullback in the game today and
Mvovo: While Israel Folau and Israel Dagg are two
international players that are right up there, I think Willie le Roux continues
to do very well. Whenever he touches the ball, opponents are left wondering
what is going to happen. I have trained alongside Willie with the Springboks and
his skill level is second to none. He is an unpredictable player and always
keeps the opposition guessing.
asked: If you could invite two World Cup winners for dinner, who would they be
Mvovo: My first pick would be John Smit, as he was
the World Cup-winning captain in 2007. Leading a team to the World Cup finals
and winning the tournament takes strong leadership and a cool head to make the
correct decisions on the field. My second guest would be Joel Stransky. I would
like to hear from the man himself what sparked in his mind to go for that now
famous drop goal in the second half of extra-time. The Springboks could easily
have played a few extra phases.
asked: If you were named South Africa’s Sports Minister what would you do
Mvovo: I would pay more attention to youth development
across the sporting codes and have a long-term goal in mind. Why can’t the next
Lionel Messi or Usain Bolt be a South African? I believe the correct structures
need to be put in place – we must develop our youth from as early as Grade 2.
Many of our athletes and teams struggle when it comes to international competition
and they bear the brunt of criticism. As Minister of Sport and Recreation, I
would support them behind the scenes.
asked: Which comedian, local or international, do you most enjoy watching and
Mvovo: Trevor Noah, because he is unafraid to push
the envelope. He has changed the face of South African comedy. As the new host
of The Daily Show, he is doing very well not just for himself, but for the
country. Until Trevor came along, we never watched stand-up comedy on the team
bus. I’m not saying other local comedians aren’t entertaining, but Trevor has put SA comedy on the map.
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