Cape Town - When Francois Pienaar was playing rugby there wasn’t much in the way of financial incentive.
The 1995 Rugby World Cup-winning captain was in Cape Town this week to launch the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon which takes place on the weekend of September 19 and 20, and he spoke to News24 about how the game has changed since 1995.
“In 1995 we played the game as amateurs. Yes, we got a little bit of money after the game to cover your petrol costs and buy yourself a beer, but we actually were amateurs,” said Pienaar.
“The game (now) is professional. There’s a lot more focus. The athletes are faster, they’re stronger. The intel in the game is far more intense and ... in a sense ... you can’t compare.
“But on the other hand the fundamentals for me are still the same, although the level may be has been upped a lot.”
Turning his attention to the recovery of current captain Jean de Villiers, Pienaar was hopeful.
“He’s such a phenomenal player, he’s such a great guy and a Springbok through and through,” said Pienaar.
“We all hold thumbs that he will be on form going into the World Cup.”