Kotze: I always supported Wallabies
Cape Town - South African-born lock Marco Kotze, who made his Super Rugby debut for the Reds against the Brumbies in Canberra last week, said he was a fan of the Wallabies as a youngster.
Kotze, 28, once played for the Falcons (2010 to 2012), Sharks Under-21s (2007), the Lions (2005 to 2006) and UJ (2006). He then joined Jake White at the Brumbies last year, before playing his way into the Reds Super Rugby squad this season.
Kotze spoke to MyPlayers.co.za about his experiences in rugby an why he has always been fond of the Wallabies.
"Growing up as a youngster in Alberton - south of Johannesburg - I played rugby from the age of seven. Whether it was at school or in the backyard, it didn't matter as long as I could get stuck in and have some fun. My love for the game grew very quickly and I had the dream of playing for my country one day. Funny enough, that country was actually Australia as I supported the Wallabies from a young age, because I loved their style of rugby, which was running rugby. In saying that, I never thought I'd end up in Australia, so I set my goals to playing for local teams and after high school, I got contracted by the Lions."
Kotze also revealed that he was a backline player before making the shift to the engine room.
"I was positioned mostly at wing. After two years of playing at the Lions, I made a decision to explore different parts of the country and my younger brother and I made a move down to Durban to take a crack at getting into the Sharks set-up. So I got picked for the Sharks Under-21s, and Lwazi Mvovo and I emerged as the wing pair in the team that season. I then started putting on some size and Rudolph Straeuli approached me, suggesting that moving to the forwards would be a good choice for my career. I then formed part of the Sharks Vodacom Cup squad and played club rugby to learn the ropes. In 2010, I made the move to the Valke for an opportunity to play senior domestic rugby."
When asked how he ended up in Australia, Kotze replied: "Playing Super Rugby was always one of my main goals, so in 2012, I started sending my rugby CV out to various teams, asking for the opportunity to play. I then received a call from Jake White and an opportunity to move to Australia was on the table. My wife, Kelly, and I were confident about the move and made the decision to follow through. The initial intention was to play for the Brumbies, but after playing for the GPS club and Brisbane, I got the opportunity to join the Reds."
Kotze said he loves the lifestyle in Brisbane.
"Brisbane life is really good. It's a laid-back city, centered perfectly between the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, with so much things to do to keep you busy. Being a coffee lover, there are some very good cafes to visit. My wife and I love making our way down to the local cafe and cinema, or we'd go for a walk at night, which is a real pleasure."
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