Ricky Januarie: I’ve learnt my lesson

By admin
17 January 2010

Bok RICKY JANUARIE was riding a wave of success after scoring the try of his career in July 2008 against the All Blacks.

But barely two months later a policeman apprehended him near his home on his stag night. And soon he was in court on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol. The case was recently withdrawn after a deal involving community service; this after much stress that also negatively affected his rugby in the 2009 season, Ricky admits now.

To drive in his condition that night was wrong, he says bluntly at his Durbanville home. “The whole thing weighed heavily on me and my rugby deteriorated somewhat.

“It was about 2 am on the Sunday and we’d run out of cooldrink so I went to buy some,” he says. “The next thing I knew there were these blue lights behind me. Yes, it was my bachelor’s and we’d won a game that day but it was my fault.

“When you make a mistake you have to first feel the consequences. Then you have to be able to say it wasn’t the right thing to do and learn from it. People mustn’t drink and drive.”

He has to do 20 hours of community service before the end of July. “I’m going to coach young rugby players. I’m just glad it’s over and I can again concentrate properly on the game that’s so important to me.”

And the outlook for the future? “That depends on what I’m going to make of myself’’, he says.

He’s raring to go after his Heineken Cup excursion to the Welsh club Ospreys at the end of 2009 and beginning of this year and his recent stand-out performance in a warm-up game for the Stormers.

A popular South African rugby writer commented that Ricky “played the cobwebs out of his system” in the European cold and could be a key player again in this year’s Super 14.

“Out there he’s quite the rugby player,” says his wife, Laken. “But here he’s just a dad to his kids. He enjoys helping to bath and feed them.”

Two-year-old Tatum is “a very busy child”, Ricky says with a tender smile. She and five-month-old Taslynn are now a priority for him, he says. “I love being with them.”

But rugby is still important. For now he first wants to focus on game time in the Super 14. But there’s no hiding the fact that the baggage of the past has been dealt with and that playing for the Boks in the 2011 World Cup has become a dream he wants to realise.

Pulling the Springbok jersey over your head is “a feeling you never, ever get used to”.

Read the full interview in the YOU of 18 February. 

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