FNB UCT winger Rayno Mapoe celebrated his 50th cap for the club (not all in the FNB Varsity Cup) on Monday with a try as the Ikey Tigers defeated their cape rivals FNB UWC 31-28.
varsitycup.co.za took a moment on the Pink Couch to reflect with Rayno on his journey thus far.
Please describe the emotions you felt running out on your special day.
I felt a bit more nervous than I usually do before a match, it felt as though I was running out for my first game all over again. The boys really made it special for me in the days leading up to the match.
We know you’ve struggled with injuries over the years, can you talk us hrough the journey of getting here?
Yeah, I've had few injuries over the years and I probably would’ve hit 50 long before if it wasn't for those setbacks, but that's part of the game. I think the worst for me was when, in the space of about a year, I experienced a couple of consecutive concussions. It was a bit of a dark time for me because I was literally told that I was one concussion away from having to most probably stop playing for good. I stopped playing for quite a lengthy period and I guess through grace I've been on a good run so far. There were also of course the odd shoulder, knee and ankle injuries along the way as well.
Who is your role model?
That’s an easy one, my cousin Lionel [capped 14 times by the Springboks]. I obviously know him on a more personal level and there are numerous reasons why he is, but yeah I admire him big time.
If you’re not in the gym or on the field how do you like to spend your time?
I enjoy some me-time, so most times you’ll find me chilling easy and bingeing on movies. I'm a sucker for a good romantic comedy. I also enjoy spending some quality time with a certain special someone and other times just hanging out with some of the ‘neefs’.
What are your goals for the rest of the season?
My number one goal is for this team to lift the FNB Varsity Cup. With this being my final season [Rayno reaches the elibility age of 25 in mid-March], I want to make sure I play an integral part in us getting there – that's the main goal right now. Personally, I have also set my sights on getting into a provincial setup, but I believe that all my other individual goals will be achieved through working towards that main goal.
FACT FILE Rayno Mapoe
Full name: Rayno Manuel Mapoe
Born: 14/3/95 in Cape Town
Position: Right or Left Wing
High school: Wynberg Boys' High School
Studying: Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Science