Feb 25, 2021

Players Corner I Hendrick Phepsi Buthelezi

1.   Hometown and Junior school?

Hluhluwe is my hometown and I attended Hluhluwe Primary School.

2.   Interests outside of rugby?

I really want to know more about civil engineering. I’ve got a serious interest in construction.

3.   Do you have any siblings?

I have 4 siblings. 3 brothers and 1 sister. 

4.   When was the moment that you knew that rugby was your favourite sport and are there other sports that you enjoy playing?

I think it was through playing touch rugby with my brothers back at home from a young age, from there I just grew into the sport and then ended up falling in love with it. I used to enjoy playing cricket and doing athletics as well.

5.   Who were your role models when growing up if any and what was it about them that inspired you?

Eben Etzebeth was my role model back in the day, I used to just love how hard he played and how he just dominated the game from such a young age. 

6.   Have you had chance to meet any of them, what was the occasion?

I’ve had the luxury of sharing the field with him last year and that was quite a nerve wracking yet special moment for me and one that I will always cherish. 

7.   Now that you have become a hero to many what is it like having to deal with the fans and how do you try and keep yourself grounded?

Ever since I started playing the game I’ve been chasing a dream and not fame so all I focus on is setting an example and creating a pathway for those that will come after me. As for fame, I don’t really pay much attention to that. 

Whether it’s a win or a loss … #ShareTheMoment after the game at your nearest CHÂTEAU GÂTEAUX
Sweet treats to help soothe or celebrate! #ChateauGateaux  I  www.chateaugateaux.co.za

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8.   What is the best advice you ever received in your life and what advice would you give youngsters who are wanting to play rugby?

“Be relentlessly in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” Work hard and prepare well during the week so that come game day, you can just follow your instincts. 

9.   You had an amazing school career what was the moment that brought you the greatest satisfaction?

Beating Maritzburg College on Goldstones and then the following weekend beating Glenwood on Dixons. 

10.   You have also had an incredible 2 years since leaving school, what was it like being named Captain of the Junior Boks, can you describe some of your experiences?

It was unreal. I was really honoured to have been given the opportunity to lead the team. It was an exciting challenge for me, one which I learned a lot from. It was a huge test of my leadership and playing ability but the positive response and the support I got from the players and the coaching staff certainly made my job a lot easier. 

11.   Transitioning from school to pro rugby what has been the thing/person/experience/opportunity that has surprised you the most?

Playing my first super rugby game last year, I was really surprised by the tempo and the physicality of the game but after each game it felt more and more natural to me. 

12.   With a rugby players career sometime being over quite quickly what are some of the things that interest you career wise after rugby?

I want to become a civil engineer and then hopefully own a construction company one day.

13.   Related to that have you have set goals for your rugby or are you just taking it a season at a time and what path would you like to take after rugby?

I’m taking it a season at a time. I definitely want to be involved in construction somehow after rugby.

Interviewed by: Zeke Oosthuis

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