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Eagles captain Stephan Krugel has eyes set on Green and Gold

The first goal for the newly elected FNB NWU Eagles captain Stephan Krugel is to make sure his team successfully defend the title they won in the 2023 FNB Varsity Cup competition. Then he is shooting for the ultimate – wearing the Green and Gold.  


He opened up about his goal to play for the Springboks, leading the team and other challenges in rugby.   


How did you get into rugby and which players have inspired you?  


It started in primary school when I was in grade 1. In the beginning, I was doing a lot of sports but rugby just kind of stuck with me and now my life revolves around it. There have been a few that have had an impact on me, someone like Pieter-Steph du Toit is a good example.  


What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your rugby career so far?  


At the current moment, it’s academics because I’m studying for a degree that demands a lot, a BSc in Agriculture in Soil Science. Rugby is also demanding a lot so it’s about finding the balance between the two and giving everything to both of them.  


What is your goal in rugby? 


For this campaign, it is to go back-to-back in winning the Varsity Cup. And my long-term goal is to play for the Springboks. I don’t know what the journey is for me to get there but I know every player has a different journey to follow and different routes to get there.  


How do you feel about being the captain of the team?  


Karl-Heinz Bertram was supposed to be the captain team but he got injured in our last warm-up match. I feel like Coach Burger and the team trust me to take on the position. I’m excited about it and I have been a captain for a few teams before in my life so I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’m also coming after Sampie and it is a huge shoes to fill because he’s a legend who was captain for many matches but I believe you should not compare yourself to other people because we bring different qualities.  


What kind of leadership skills do you bring to the team?  


I think I bring calmness in difficult situations, during heated moments I can stay calm and communicate well with the referee or my teammates which has a huge influence on how the game proceeds. I believe my communication skills can help the team as I also know how to be vocal and take the team forward. 


by Lesiba Dikhoba

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