Pretoria - Experienced No 8 Pierre Spies has
spoken about his fondest memories with the Bulls and Springboks during his 11
seasons of professional rugby in South Africa.
Spies emerged on the rugby scene as an
exciting talent in 2005, which caught the attention of the nation. His
hard-hitting runs and big impact on defence made him one of the top loose
forwards in world rugby.
In Bulls colours, he celebrated three Super
Rugby titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, and two Currie Cup titles in 2006 (shared
with the Free State Cheetahs) and 2009. He also captained the franchise during
this year’s Super Rugby campaign.
Spies made his Test debut for the
Springboks as a 21-year-old in 2006. His performances in the green and gold saw
him named SA Rugby Young Player of the Year. He went on to play 52 Tests for
South Africa, celebrating the Rugby Championship (then known as the
Tri-Nations) title and British & Irish Lions Tour triumph in what was a
He holds the record for most tries as a No
8 (seven tries) and most caps (48 Tests - he also played four at flank and one
at wing). He enjoyed 36 victories with the Springboks, including five against old
rivals, the All Blacks.
“My most fondest memories would definitely
be playing Test rugby for the Springboks and winning trophies for South Africa
and Bulls. From a personal perspective, the try I scored against the Crusaders
in 2009 Super Rugby semi-final was one of thy best I’ve ever scored. Those
moments will always stand out for me,” Spies told MyPlayers.co.za.
“I’m very thankful for all the
opportunities that came my way. And I’m looking forward to many more rugby
memories in the future.”
Spies has struggled with serious injury in
recent years, which has kept him out of rugby for long periods. However, he was
delighted to play regularly during Super Rugby this season.
“It was good to be back on the field and
playing week in and week out. My previous injuries kept me out of the game for
a year and half, which was really tough, so it was good to be back on my feet,”
“I felt like I was improving after match
during Super Rugby, which was a good feeling. My biggest personal development
was the amount of balls I’ve stolen at the breakdown. I’ve stolen more ball
this season than I have during my entire career, which I was very happy about.
This has added something new to my game.”
Shortly after this interview with
Spies, the 30-year-old was a notable omission in the 49-man Springbok squad
announced ahead of the Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup.
However, he says he will never give up the
hope of representing South Africa, even when he continues his career in Japan
and France at clubs.
And with concern over the recovery of
Springbok and Stormers No 8 Duane Vermeulen ahead of the World Cup, there might
be a need for Spies in the near future.
“The competition in the loose forward
department is really tough in South Arica. This country always manages to
develop great loosies,” said Spies.
“The selectors have a great bunch of
players to pick from. There’s so much talent and the loose forwards have really
played well all season this year, especially a guy like Warren Whiteley. At the
end of the day, I think versatility will decide who makes the final squad.
“I will be here whenever the Springboks
need me. I have this hunger to play for the Springboks, which will never be
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