Our favourite guest writer, Benedict Chanakira, caught up with Union Sports Group client Nick Schonert who is off to play for the Worcester Warriors to start another exciting chapter in his life.
How are you Nick?
I am doing well thanks bud. I am just currently getting ready to make my move over to England.
You have been part of the Sharks since you played in the Grant Khomo tournament. How did it feel moving on?
It was sad at first, as KZN is my home. Sharks have been a big part of my rugby career since leaving school, being my stepping stone into professional rugby. I am grateful for Sharks but am very excited about my future abroad.
How was it learning from the best frontrowers in the world at the Sharks?
I was lucky enough to play with Beast in Vodacom Cup, when he came back from injury as well as having many scrumming sessions with Jannie Du Plessis. I learnt the most from Jannie as I have a lot of respect for the way he scrums.
Which Sharks forward had the most influence on your career?
Jean Deysel. He was my roommate during my first super 15 tour. He introduced me to the larger side of rugby as well as what it takes to be a professional rugby player. We also get along very well as we both are keen fishermen, although I’m better.
How does it feel playing for Shimlas (Varsity Cup rugby)?
It’s a lot like school boy rugby in the way of it being played with pride and passion with big crowds. It is probably my time of rugby that I enjoyed the most, as the Shimlas culture is a very friendly and an easy going one.
You joined a Griquas side that is known for punching above their weight. How was it?
It was a complete change of events coming from Sharks considered to be the top dogs, to a side where you are considered an underdog. I had to learn how to compete with stronger players. The drive and fight in the team was incredible to witness.
How is it trading the Kings Park turf and the turf in Kimberly which is known to be “special”?
It reminded me a lot about Martizburg College Goldstones, HARD! It felt like home for me.
You are going to be joining your old team mate and mate Mike. What influence did he have on you joining Worcester Warriors?
Mike is a very good friend of mine. We’ve played many games together and I enjoy his style of rugby. I would be happy to share a field with him again.
Why Worcester though?
Mike Williams has told me so much about the club. The game over there would suite me as a player and from what I hear the coaches and players are fantastic and I am excited for the challenge.
Still earmarked as a future Springbok player, do you believe you can fulfil the potential?
As a sportsman if you don’t see yourself going the distance, then you shouldn’t be playing the game.
Do you plan to return to South Africa to forge a Super Rugby stint?
Yes, but not anytime soon.
Share a tale on your tour with the Sharks in Super Rugby?
What happens on tour stays on tour! (Breaks into loud laughter).
If you where a backline player, what position would you play? Why?
Wing, because I’m built for speed. Haha.
Tell us how you see the quota system and your opinion?
Politics should be left out of any sport. Players should be chosen on merit alone. I don’t see colour I see people.
Thanks, all the best speedster and congratulations on the wedding.
Sure bud, a pleasure!