The JabuView with Willie Britz

Willie Britz (1)
Emma Booysen Photography

Willie Britz returned to the team where he first made big strides when he left the Lions to join the Cheetahs in 2015. He also spent some time playing for the Shining Arcs in the Japaneses league. Having spent most of the season out with an injury, Willie returned to the Cheetahs last weekend in the Currie Cup Qualification Series and has now joined the Super Rugby side in Brisbane as replacement for the injured Hilton Lobberts. Before he left we had a chat with Willie about all things rugby and even his hair!

Jabu: Having just seen the 2016 Varsity Cup end in outstanding fashion, how important was your years at Shimlas in your development as a rugby player?

Willie: I played for a good 5 years at the Shimlas, and for me I grew tremendously at that level, coming through the ranks, learning from amazingly talented players and playing alongside a few legends of the game today. I must say that was an amazing time for me.

Jabu: You left the Lions to come back to the Cheetahs in 2015. How exciting is the Cheetahs project that is underway under Franco Smith?

Willie: There are big things heading the way of the Cheetahs. There is a new generation coming together and they are doing things right! I am very excited to see what lies ahead for Cheetahs Rugby.

Jabu: What was the opportunity of playing in Japan for Shining Arcs like?

Let’s go to work!!! #thankYouJesus #nttShiningArcs #JapanRugbyLife🇯🇵

A photo posted by Willie Britz (@williebritz88) on Dec 11, 2015 at 4:51pm PST

 Willie: It was an amazing time for me as a person and rugby player! It felt like I learned a lot more about small things in the game, from coach Rob Penney, than what I have learned in the last few years in SA! I am now really focusing on doing the small things great, and executing the basics perfectly.
Jabu: What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Willie: Having the opportunity to go play in Japan has been such a great experience, so must say thats definitely one of them.

Jabu: How well has Francois Venter taken to the captaincy role?

Willie: I havent played with him this year since he has been appointed captain, but he is a very good player. Francois is still very young in the captaincy role, but I believe he will grow well into it in the next few years.

Jabu: Is it something you would like to see yourself doing in the future?

Willie: Well I have captained a few sides that I have played for since school level. That being said, I haven’t done it at Super Rugby level yet so would really love to have that privilege one day.

Jabu: Who is the hardest opponents you have faced?

Willie: One of the hardest workers and players, Jerome Kaino!

Willie Britz (1)Jabu: Which uncapped Cheetahs player do you think could be in line for a June Call up?

Willie: Definitely my man, Sergeal Peterson!

Jabu: Your hair style has become a bit of a trade mark, would you ever consider changing it up?

Willie: I did change it a bit in Japan, just to try a taste of the culture. I was almost like the Samurai haha! When the time come to change, then I will definitely do it!

Jabu: How frustrating has the injury been for you?
Willie: The most frustrating thing about a thumb injury is that there is nothing wrong with your body, its just your thumb! Its really tough sitting next to the field, watching every game, because you know your supposed to be on that field battling it out with your brothers! I have note even been able to pass a ball with the boys at training! Small things like that frustrated me, but then on the positive side, it was a great opportunity for my body to rest which means I am very ready for the action!
Jabu: Tell us about your #WinWithWillie Competition?

Willie: I wanted to give back to the fans, so along with my PR team Actorvate Relations so we decided to run a competition and reward a lucky winner with a signed jersey by sharing their support for the Cheetahs on Social Media. They just have to add #WinWithWillie in their posts. For more information they can check out my Facebook page.

Willie Britz (2)
Emma Booysen Photography

Jabu: Where can our readers interact with you more? 

Thanks for the chat Willie! Good luck for the rest of the Super Rugby Season!

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