Our favourite Guest writer, Benedict Chanakira, had a quick catch up with Bordeaux Begles star, Jandre Marais…
Hi Jandrè, how are you?
Doing really good, tired after a long season. I am looking forward to the holiday back in South Africa.
How are you enjoying the French culture and language?
Still struggling with the language but it is an awesome experience , especially loving the french foods.
Have you managed to visit any interesting places in France or Europe? Which stood out?
Yes ,Paris is a special place that I would recommend to everyone. I also went to Spain in San Sebastian ,my new favourite holiday destination.
Whats Top 14 rugby like?
It’s like Super Rugby but they focus more on their set piece, it is used as a weapon and not just to start play.
You had a memorable Super Rugby debut, including a try. How did it feel?
If I remember correctly Ross Skeate got injured late in the week so it was really stressful. It is still one of my favorite rugby moments ever.
You were in the Sharks system for a long time. What where your fondest memories?
When we won the U/19 Currie Cup and going on a Super Rugby tour.
Who has had the most influence on your playing career?
Had lots of really good coaches over the year and learned something from each of them, but two stood out. Andre Volsteedt was my conditioning coach in age group rugby and showed me what I am capable of!! Rudolf Straeuli was my first coach out of school and changed my mindset and helped me to where I am today.
How do you spend your off-days in France?
Normally traveling and site seeing!
You are fortunate to have your brother play with you before. How does it feel?
Have not played a lot of professional rugby with him, when we get a chance it is special . I think our style of play complements us.
Growing up which players inspired you?
Bakkies Botha and Victor Matfield (Blood brothers).
Which player impresses you the most at Bordeaux Bègles?
Bruce Reihana he played for the All blacks way back. He is 38 and still in phenomenal shape.
Do you have any plans to return to South Africa?
No not anytime soon.
You played in the KwaZulu Natal league. Which club has a special place in your heart?
Will always be Durban Collegians man.
Not a one band man , I like everything.
Heaviest bench press you made?
170KG I think.
Who has given you your biggest hit?
Juan Smith in the first round of the top 14, hard as nails
Funniest teammate you ever play with?
It is a close contest between Dannie Mienie (Sharks prop) aka Pyl and my brother Peet .
Thanks Jandrè, any message to Sharks fans?
Good luck with the rest of the season.