During my time at the University of Pretoria, I qualified as a level 2 rugby coach with World Rugby, allowing me to become a student of the game. In the final year of my studies, I completed my research dissertation titled "The legality of transformation policies in sport" which examined the implementation of the quota system on South African Rugby. From there on out, I've taken a keen interest in writing and analysing the sport, whether from a technical perspective or general commentary.
A Durban girl originally, now living in Joburg, I grew up with salt water and a love of rugby flowing through my veins (despite the fact that no one else in my family watches the game at all). I quickly progressed from attending the local school games with friends during high school to a deep-seated love of the Sharks and the Springboks, and an insatiable drive to understand the intricacies of the most incredible sport in the world. I’m generally a fairly introverted person, and hate small talk…until you want to talk rugby, or find me at a rugby game, whether it’s in the pub, or at the stadium, and then I suddenly have an infinite capacity to make friends with everyone in sight. More than that, I believe passionately in the power rugby has to unite people, in South Africa, and around the world.
Growing up in a country where rugby is more than just a game, it became a passion of mine from a young age. I grew up playing the game and loved every second of it; from the pre game vibe, training sessions (This is a lie), to running out being ready to break my body! Being from KZN, I am a supporter of the greatest club side to have ever graced this beautiful game, The Cell-C Sharks. I have always had a serious case of Saturday fever and enjoy how Rugby brings people together!
Harry van Staden
I grew up in a house where rugby was always close to the number one topic in any conversation. I cut my teeth on rugby at primary school level in the quiet suburb of Melville, Johannesburg. We played many a backyard game at our modest house in 7 th Avenue. Ja regtig-Sewendelaan!But no shops, celebrities or sinister plots. High school rugby was one blur of bruises, fractures and survival. Yes, we played against schools in the South like Langlaagte Technical, President Hoërskool and Helpmekaar. Played some rugby at RAU, but with Boela van der Merwe in his sixth year, playing Scrummie for the first team was not always easy. Anyway, although I can clearly remember the name of every new beer on promotion at the Sans Souci Hotel, I tried a few degrees that did not do it for me. Enough said. Rugby though remained a passion. Player, Coach, referee, commentator, angry parent, referee critic and Couch Springbok. I am the man on the street- I know the game, I know the rules, I know the players. My nickname is Harry die Leeu………