Shark in the making

2014-03-04 00:00

NOTHING means more to Morné Joubert than pulling the Glenwood first team jersey over his head, a jersey he is “prepared to die for”.

This is his second year in the first team, the “Green Machine”, although he made his debut in Grade 10 when he came off the bench into a baptism of fire against Affies. The following week, he started against Maritzburg College and these days is a respected member of the team, turning out at fullback or outside centre.

In Grade 7, he was selected for the SA U16 high performance squad and it’s fair to say, that rugby is his life.

“I grew up in Pretoria and have played rugby since I was four. There was no U4 level so I played with the U6 boys in what was called ‘Bulletjie’ rugby,” said Joubert.

Joubert comes from a rugby background. “My dad, Markus, played Craven Week for the Bulls and was on the bench for Northern Transvaal in his playing days. He was also a fullback and was my coach from U6 to U13,” said Joubert.

Glenwood has provided the ideal platform for Joubert to focus on and launch his rugby career. He has been part of the school’s elite sport academy where he has focused exclusively on rugby. “I also enjoy athletics where I specialise in the 100 m and 200 m but I only have a go when there is a gap in the rugby season, which is hard to come by these days.”

And that is no lie. If the Super 15 season is enough to call on a professional player’s fitness and stamina, Glenwood’s season is not far behind and Joubert would do well to see out a long season by schoolboy standards.

“This year, our season constitutes 31 games, which includes three festivals — Grey PE, Kearsney’s Easter Festival and the Wildeklawer — plus a full round of matches in and around Durban,” said Joubert. “While most schools finish their season in the third term, we still have our toughest matches against Affies and Grey Bloem to play.”

Being a boarder, Joubert has time at his disposal to give full attention to his chosen sport. “I train in the gym from 5.45 am to 6.50 am with afternoon practice thrown in. Sometimes on a Friday there is just a gym session and on some days we have double practice,” said Joubert.

It’s exciting times for rugby at Glenwood with a new coach and assistant coach appointed this year. Rudi Dames takes over as coach, having been assistant coach, and is someone Joubert is used to working with.

“It’s all about what I represent. There is nothing like playing for the jersey you wear and the badge on your chest and this makes the training, the knocks, the moments all worthwhile,” said Joubert.

“My highlight in the green jersey was scoring the winning try against Maritzburg College last year, on their field [Goldstones] on their old boys’ day. We won 44-40 and it’s been said that was the greatest schoolboy match ever seen on that field. For me, that’s what rugby is about.”

Joubert’s goal this season is to get better and take the good with the bad. “Our team motto is we before me and that’s what I strive for,” he said. “Rugby is a team game and if we take two steps forward every time we take one backwards, then every sacrifice is worth it.”

Next year, Joubert starts at the Sharks Academy, having already signed a contract. He plans to study sports management and his goal is to move through the ranks for the Sharks, starting at U19 level and progressing into the senior team.

His goals for this year are to make the KZN Craven Week side and the SA Schools’ team.

Name: Morné Joubert

School: Glenwood

Grade: 12

Age: 18

Sport: Rugby

Rugby Achievements:

Honours, Craven Week 2013, KZN 7s 2013, SA U18 7s training squad

Other: Boarder prefect, Athletics colours

Joubert at a Glance

Enjoys all sport

Favourite rugby players are the Sharks’ Paul Jordaan and Warren Whiteley of the Lions

Plays table tennis and pool

Plays sport games on Playstation

Not much of a cook but likes to help in the kitchen

Favourite meal is spare ribs and chips

Lamb chops and biltong are also favourites

Listens to music and is a Robbie Wessels fan

Favourite subject is engineering, graphics and design

Doesn’t have time to read

Advice

Work hard from the start at what you decide to follow. Put your head down and deal with disappointments along the way. Show your character when the going gets tough and above all, enjoy what you do.

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