We have a devastating blonde ball carrier who is set to play his 50th Pumas game. He is enjoying his rugby having recently scored four tries as Namibia burst into the Rugby World Cup and is having starring displays for the Pumas. Benedict Chanakira spoke about facing the New Zealand Haka, Rugby World Cup 2015 and Pizza!
Hi, how are you Renaldo?
I am very well thanks!
If not rugby where would you be?
To be honest I don’t know what I would have done, I was born with a rugby ball and it was my passion from a young age!! I couldn’t put down a rugby ball!
How was your time at the Lions, Leopards and now at the Pumas?
I enjoyed my time at all those Unions. l learned a lot from all of them!! But it’s here at the Pumas where I found myself enjoying my rugby the most and have made a lot of great friends!!
Who has influenced your career and which player did you mould your playing style around?
I have always had to work hard to get where I am and did not get anything given on a silver plate! I always liked Schalk Burger when I was young! He was my hero.
How was your debut for Namibia?
It was an absolute honour to make my debut!
You guys needed a miracle after a loss in your first game (Kenya 29-22 Namibia). You showed resolve and a massive fight back to qualify for the World Cup. Where there any doubts in camp after the first game?
Yes there was doubt, but we just kept on believing in each other. We said that we could still make it and that is what we did. Against all odds we made it! We are going to Rugby World Cup 2015!!
Namibia has a quality balanced back row; Jacques Burger, yourself and Rohan Kitsoff to mention a few. Are you relishing this link up?
I am not sure about team choices yet. There are good loose forwards add PJ van Lill and Tinus du Plessis too, who I rate as all great players! So those choices will be up to the coach to make.
How do you plan to face up to the Haka?
It will be the biggest moment in my rugby career. If I get there, then I will most definitely not be standing back on that day!
Clearly Namibia is the second best rugby playing nation in Africa, what are your aims as a team at the 2015 Rugby World Cup?
I will give my all like always!! We are aiming to be the first team to win a game on a World Cup!
What is your favourite meal?
I enjoy Pasta, Braai meat and Pizza!!
Tell us about working with Jimmy Stonehouse?
Jimmy is a very passionate guy and likes to get stuff done and just wants the best for the team and the Union!
Thanks Renaldo, for your time and all the best in your 50th game!