FNB UP-Tuks fullback Zander du Plessis will join Griquas after Monday night's FNB Varsity Cup final at Tuks Stadium (19:00, SuperSport Rugby channel 211).
It's no surprise that the 21-year-old points machine has been snapped up by a provincial union after a sensational run in this year's FNB Varsity Cup that saw him break former Ikeys flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis' record of 136 points in a season (in 2012). He will go into the final looking to add to his 145-point haul.
The ever-humble Du Plessis credits the Stripe Generation for giving him the platform to be able to perform like he has this year.
"Breaking a record is always nice," he tells VarsityCup.co.za. "It wasn’t something I focused on, though. I took each game as a new opportunity to do my best and luckily for me I had a great team that gave me opportunities to get points on the board.
"Playing alongside my teammates just makes my life so much easier. We obviously have a game plan and everyone buys into it, because if that wasn’t the case, we wouldn't have got this far.
"It is a massive privilege to play for Tuks in the Varsity Cup," he adds. "If you look at all those who have played for the university, including several World Cup winners, you realise what an honour it is."
Du Plessis says this year's FNB Varsity Cup was one of the toughest.
"Not only because of the short turnaround between matches, but also the quality of the teams this year," he explains. "All the teams made a massive step up and I'm delighted that we have made it to the final."
It will be the first meeting between FNB UP-Tuks and FNB UCT this year after their Round 6 clash was cancelled following three Covid-19 positive tests in the hosts’ camp.
"The fact that we didn’t play Ikeys in the league stage makes this final more exciting," says Du Plessis. "I think if we can keep calm and stick to our game plan, we will be victorious."
Du Plessis, who can also slot in at flyhalf, is excited to be heading to Kimberley after the FNB Varsity Cup.
"I've always wanted to make a career in rugby and signing my first senior professional contract with Griquas is the first step in making that dream a reality," says the BCom Business Management student.
"I'm looking forward to representing them as there are several former Tukkies players on their books. I will definitely give my all."
Photos: Christiaan Kotze/Catherine Kotze/Varsity Cup