Corne Krige was capped 39 times for the Springboks and captained the side through a turbulent time in the country’s rugby history. Western Provice and Stormers fans will remember him and his side fondly, as do I as a Stormers fan, and the legacy they left behind. He captained the Boks 18 times in all and will always be remembered as whole hearted player and if not for bad injuries, he would definitely have had a much deeper influence on the fortunes of his provincial sides and the national team.
Dirk Vale (DV): Firstly thank you for giving us your time for an interview! Since you’ve retired what changes have you seen in the local game?
Corne Krige (CK): The guys are clearly more professional. The game has become far more physical and they play a lot more rugby.
DV: Having played in both, what was the biggest difference between playing in England and South Africa?
CK: The game in England was dominated by forward play as the weather doesn’t allow for an expansive game.
DV: Through your travels, you have got to play in some of the finest rugby cathedrals over the globe. What was your favourite stadium to play in?
CK: Newlands and the old Cardiff Arms Park in Wales
DV: You were often battered and bruised in games, but who was the hardest opponent you’ve faced?
CK: When South African rugby players are asked this question they usually name a player from another country. I had the privilege of playing against guys like Adri Geldenhuys and Elandre vd Berg. They don’t get tougher than that! In my position Richie Mc Caw was a real hard man who never went away.
DV: We are glad you say that, who was the most talented player you’ve played with?
CK: This is a hard one but Breyton Paulse and Bobby Skinstad spring to mind.
DV: You played with and captained a Stormers team filled with big personalities like Bobby Skinstad and Robbie Fleck, what made this team special and how did all the personalities play out?
CK: It was a special team as the senior players all played a role. Every week a different player had a blinder. This made it hard for opponents to try and analyse us.
DV: Captaining the Springboks is a massive challenge, especially in a Rugby mad South Africa, what was the experience and challenge like?
CK: I had the privilege of captaining my country in a very difficult period. The pressure is always big but when events outside the game dominate your thoughts and time it really becomes tricky. I would still not swap it for anything.
DV: In an outstanding career, were there any highlights that stick out for you?
CK: Captaining the Springboks in my debut test and winning 101-0 against Italy
DV: Now that the sun has set on your rugby career, what are you doing now?
CK: I am a shareholder and director in a company called Brandspace. We focus on advertising opportunities and promotional items in the main market.
DV: You’ve done quite a few charity events, what charities are you currently involved with?
CK: I support the Fellows for Cancer that supports people with Cancer who can’t afford to pay their bills. I also support the Big Tree foundation who help the underprivileged with school clothes, bikes and accessories.
DV: You did the Cape Epic this year, what was the challenge of that like?
CK: Mentally it is a very tough event and you have to push your body to places where it has never been. I cycled the furthest and longest time on a bike ever.
DV: You also paddled the 2012 Hansa Fish Canoe Marathon to raise funds for Eastern Cape Children, how did that compare to the cycling?
CK: It is a fantastic event that I can recommend to everybody who loves water. It is quite hard physically but very doable.
DV: What do you think of the Southern Kings and how they’ve done so far this year in Super Rugby?
CK: They have done incredibly well. They have a very astute director of rugby in Alan Solomons and he has worked wonders in a very short space of time.
DV: As a loose-forward yourself do you think Heinrich Brussouw should be part of the Springboks’ plans?
CK: Yes I do I think he is a fantastic player. We need a specialist open-side flanker and he is one of a few we have in South Africa.
DV: All Things Jabu is a blog about all sport, what other sports do you enjoy?
CK: At the moment mountain biking and surfing.
Follow Corne Krige on Twitter and chat to the legend himself!