From humble beginnings at Boland Cavaliers, to playing for the Sharks and the Springboks, Stefan Terblanche was dubbed the fittest man on the rugby scene.
A myth had him as a fat-less muscle man. Benedict Chanakira managed to talk to Stefan about race car driving, clowns, his time in Wales and much more…
Howzit Stefan, How are you?
Very good thanks and thanks for the interview.
What inspired you to become a rugby player?
I loved all the sports growing up in the small town of Swellendam. I had to take part in all of them. The oval ball appealed to me in particular.
You managed to play in South Africa, Wales and Ireland. One can say you have played at every level; retiring at the age 37. How did you manage to prolong your career? What was the secret?
Always staying fit and as best prepared as I could be for every single game. Thankfully injuries stayed away and it kept me on the field and in touch with the ever changing pace and trends in rugby.
Tell us about your time in Wales and the brief spell you had in Ireland with Ulster. How was it?
I loved every moment of it and the people made it special in Swansea and Belfast.
You were an exceptional player and very versatile. Your try scoring record was brilliant, last line of defence who was reliable and you had a good boot. What was your favorite position?
It was fullback without a doubt but had to play all sorts of positions to make the team at the different stages.
No name mentioning, Tell us a funny tour story from your playing days?
My roommate set off the fire alarm of the whole hotel in Sydney while smoking in the bathroom of our hotel room. We were the only two lonely souls in the whole hotel while everyone else gathered in the parking lot. Very funny for us but not sure about all the other guests. Those days some rugby players still smoked, I think not many anymore.
What is the highlight of your playing career? If you had to re-do something again. What would it have been?
I would have played my whole career at Fullback. Highlights? Every single time I played to my full potential and had a good game according to my own standards. That made me really happy. Some games we lost and some of them were even highlights as I knew that I gave it my all, the team gave it their all but on the day the opposition was just too good.
What is the South African Rugby Legends Association?
It’s an Association where the ex-players give back to the game of rugby through their passion for the game. We do this by coaching but also through a thousand other ways. Supporting charities, raising money for other ex-players fallen on hard times, climbing mountains, cycling races,overseas trips, development programs for rugby and other sports, guest speaking to mention a few things.
What does your role as an Executive with the South African Rugby Legends entail?
Overseeing the process of making sure that we keep the ex-players profiles up. To make sure that we deliver what we promised our loyal sponsors when it comes to rugby development and improving the lives of our fellow South Africans.
Tell me about your experiences with Archie Rutherford (Race car driver). What brought that experience about?
Its an unbelievable outing in a racing car for the last 3 years and still loving it. When you are contracted and play rugby for a professional team there are certain things that you can’t do. Going in a racing car is one of them and when Terence Marsh from the Regent Racing Team approached me to co-pilot for Archie I said yes immediately. I love a challenge.
Can we expect an autobiography?
I don’t think so but never say never.
What one detail do people not know about you?
I am very scared of clowns.
Who will win Super Rugby 2015?
Chiefs looking good again and also The Hurricanes. Lets hope a SA team can get a home play-off and we might have an outside chance.
What is your favorite music?
I love music and anything from Guns and Roses to Classical music can hit the spot at the right time.
Thanks for your time Stefan!