Jaco Taute is part of the exciting future of the Springbok team. This year, his season was cut short due to injury. As he has now formally signed for the Stormers, he will have a chance to deliver on the promise again next season! A player with bucket loads of potential. Dirk had a chat with Jaco about all things rugby.
Dirk: Firstly thank you so much for doing this interview with us here at All Things Jabu! It’s been a difficult year for you moving from the Lions to the Stormers. When you made the move, what was the biggest challenge?
Jaco: I would say just fitting into a new lifestyle and the team dynamics of the Stormers
Dirk: How is the injury recovery going? Will you be able to play any Currie Cup rugby? (Taute severely damaged his anterior cruciate (ACL) knee ligaments earlier this year in the game between the Stormers and the Cheetahs)
Jaco: It’s going very well thanks – everything is on track. I will unfortunately only return to rugby next year, so will get no Currie Cup action.
Dirk: What was the experience coming in as late replacement for Frans Steyn last year to make your Springbok debut?
Jaco: It was a dream come true – the biggest highlight of my rugby career so far.
Dirk: You’ve played Centre and Full-back at the highest levels, what different challenges do both positions offer and which position do you prefer playing and why?
Jaco: Playing in the midfield is more of a physical position, where you have to make more tackles and carry the ball more into contact from first phase. Playing outside centre is also a very difficult position defensively because you are the defensive coordinator. Fullback is more of a playmaking position where you are the last line of defence and also have to counter the tactical kicking of the other team. I love both positions, but at the moment I like playing in the fullback position but also like the physical part of playing centre
Dirk: Having played in various stadiums already, which is your favourite stadium to play in?
Jaco: Newlands and Ellis Park – and Twickenham is also a special place to play at.
Dirk: Who has had the biggest influence on you as a rugby player?
Jaco: Definitely my Dad.
Dirk: You were part of the UJ side in the Varsity Cup in 2010, how did this help in your development as a player?
Jaco: Being in that team environment at that age, I just wanted to be like a sponge learning as much as possible. It definitely helped my development in terms of stepping up to a higher level of rugby, stepping up physically and in the skill department
Dirk: Coming to a team like the Stormers who have the biggest support in the country, has been playing in front of such a partisan crowd been a different experience for you?
Jaco: It’s been amazing – the people are very passionate about their rugby, but it also brings a whole new level of responsibility
Dirk: All Things Jabu is a blog about all sports, so what other sports do you watch and support?
Jaco: I like cricket and athletics, but recently have become quite a fan of NBA & NFL too.
Dirk: And besides rugby, what are your interests?
Jaco: I like spending quality time with my friends and family – also reading and a good movie. I believe in a balanced lifestyle – life is very short!
Dirk: Thanks so much for the time Jaco! Best of luck with the recovery and we hope to see you on the field again soon!