Sport24 chats to Andre Joubert

The ‘Rolls Royce’ of fullbacks fields YOUR questions. He discusses Pat Lambie’s best position, facing the French in 1995 with a broken hand and what makes Willie le Roux so special...

David Lyness asked: Long time no see. What work keeps you occupied these days?

Andre Joubert: I own and manage the Konica Minolta dealership in KwaZulu-Natal. We deal mainly with the office equipment environment. The transition from the rugby field to the boardroom has been an exciting and, at times, colourful experience.

Johan Dyers asked: Since retiring have you enjoyed any involvement in the game?

Andre Joubert: No, the closest I come to the rugby field these days is watching my 15-year-old son play at eighthman for his school side. I’m enjoying my new role as a bench critic.

Neil Kruger asked: Apart from the 1995 Rugby World Cup final, what is your fondest memory of your playing career?

Andre Joubert: I spent eight great years at the Sharks. My most memorable moment in a Natal jersey was winning the 1996 Currie Cup final by beating Transvaal 33-15 at Ellis Park. On the day, my two tries in the final proved decisive, which made me a proud man.

John Isaacs asked: What was your most disappointing game and how did you overcome it?

Andre Joubert: The 1999 Currie Cup final was a bitter-sweet moment for me. It was mine and Gary Teichmann’s final competitive game and it was sad not to end off a winning note. (Natal were defeated 32-9.) However, I realised then the time was right to retire, because although the mind was still willing, the body no longer was.

Neil van Rooyen asked: The best player/s you played with and against – domestically or internationally?

Andre Joubert: Locally, Thierry Lacroix was the best player I ever had the pleasure of teaming up with. He had great vision for the game and we forged a formidable partnership. Collectively we scored a lot of tries because we were able to read each other’s minds out on the field. When playing fullback it’s crucial to have a flyhalf that can lead you. Internationally, the toughest player I came up against was Jonah Lomu. Lomu was an unbelievable athlete that possessed devastating strength, speed and power.    

Dominic Valentine asked: Ian McIntosh has just won the Vernon Pugh award for distinguished serve to the game. Was he the best coach you ever played under?

Andre Joubert:  Mac certainly deserves that accolade. He was easily one of my best coaches – he introduced a style of play at the Sharks, which I enjoyed and we scored a lot of tries owing to that approach. Kitch Christie was also unbelievable. He always thought one step ahead and his greatest trait was his managerial ability in the mould of the best football managers. He was unafraid to delegate and introduced consultants he believed would add value to the cause.

Abel Stolz asked: What's required of the modern fullback and how do you rate South Africa’s current crop?

Andre Joubert: The modern fullback should effectively play as a secondary flyhalf. What this does is not only offer one’s scrumhalf two options on attack, but it serves to confuse the opposition defensively. I believe a fullback’s primary role is to turn defence into attack. For me, Willie le Roux is the best fullback in South Africa at this moment. He’s an exciting player to watch and I hope that Heyneke Meyer retains him in that position. What I most like about Le Roux is that he’s prepared to take risks and gets involved on attack. He possesses a high work-rate and another strong suit of his is, at times, playing at first receiver. I’ve noticed that he has become more involved in blindside play and is getting closer to the rucks.

Mihlali Qoma asked: Do you believe Pat Lambie is unlucky to have been omitted from the starting XV this Saturday? What do you regard to be his best position?

Andre Joubert: Lambie is an unbelievable talent and the current situation is tough for him, but he’s still young and must keep on persevering. He’s proven himself on numerous occasions at Currie Cup and Super Rugby level and he’s a natural-born competitor. In my view, he’s definitely the best of the flyhalves plying their trade in South Africa and that’s the position I would like to see him concentrate on.

Vaughn Du Plooy asked: Did your stint with the SA Sevens side aid your attacking game in the 15-man code?

Andre Joubert: Yes, at Sevens level I spent most of my time in the No 10 playmaking role, which I believe gave me a greater tactical understanding of coming in at first receiver. And over the years, as the defensive lines became increasingly occupied at Test level, my Sevens experience was something I drew upon to break down those tight defences. The modern game has certainly become more defensive and, for the most part, has become a tactical battle of the boot.

Lonwabo Rippah Jam asked: You played against France in the 1995 World Cup semi-final with a broken hand. How did you last the full 80 minutes?

Andre Joubert: The power of the mind. I was given neither painkillers nor an injection. It was a pressure game for me as I had broken my hand against Western Samoa the previous match. It was a nightmare day weather-wise in Durban, but it proved a great result for us. I’m proud to say that I never lost to France during my playing career.

Raymond Silinga asked: What makes the French such tough opponents? Are you predicting a Springbok win on Saturday?

Andre Joubert: France’s unpredictably makes them dangerous. If they click on the day they can be deadly, but if not, they tend to play as individuals. I’m backing the Boks to win as they carry with them winning momentum. They are also no longer one-dimensional on attack and will ask plenty questions of the French defence.


James Dalton

Shaun Pollock

Jonathan Kaplan

James Small

Pat Symcox

Joe van Niekerk

Nick Mallett

Heyneke Meyer

Tiaan Strauss

John Mitchell

David Campese

Dean Furman
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