Eastern Province U19 Best player of the year, Tyler Paul, chats to Union Sports Mag
Which school did you attend and when did you start playing rugby?
I attended St. Andrews College for the duration of my high school career. I started playing rugby at the age of 9 at a local club in Johannesburg called pirates
Who is your rugby hero and why?
Richie McCaw is my rugby hero. His leadership is what sticks out for me as well as his ability not to panic even when the chips are down. His humility off the field is also one of the reasons I see him as a hero. Most importantly his athletic ability physicality work ethic and style of play is how I would like to model the way I play. He can run pass and change direction like a back line player and that is what I am working towards.
Do you find the training at the SARU/Kings Academy very different from the rugby training you had at school? In what ways is it different?
Training at the academy is completely different when compared to school. It is much more physically demanding, at school gym wasn’t really compulsory where as gym now is. Their is also 2 training sessions a day where as at school was just one in the afternoon. Amongst all of this there is varsity at the same time!
What are you studying at NMMU?
I am currently studying BCom financial planning at NMMU.
You have been included in The Kings Vodacom Cup side – how have you found playing at that level?
I have been coming of the bench at the end of each game in order just to ease me in to that level of rugby. In terms of pace, the game is much quicker when comparing it to other rugby I have played. The physicality has also been a step up. All in all though it has been a great experience playing at that level.
You were nominated as The Kings U/19 player of the year last year – what has this achievement meant to you as a person and as a rugby player?
I was very humbled by the nomination especially as the team did so well. It has given me more self-belief as an individual.
The nomination has made me work harder on and off the field to give the nomination the respect it deserves. It has definitely helped me in being recognized as a player and for that I am very grateful.
Where would you like to be in your rugby career in five years from now?
I have broken down my Career into steps, in 5 years time I would like to be playing super rugby at a South African franchise and have secured a good senior contract at a Union.