Riaan Genis didn’t expect to lead the FNB NWU Eagles in the 2023 Varsity Cup competition.
However, a pre-season injury to Ruan Swiegers meant he had to step up and assume the leadership role.
Varsity Cup caught up with Genis.
How will Ruan’s absence affect the team?
We will miss his leadership skills and he’s been playing here for 3 or 4 years so losing that kind of experience is tough. He’s a quality player but this is part and parcel of rugby because it’s a physical game, he has to deal with it and overcome it.
After Ruan’s injury you were appointed captain, how do you feel about it?
It’s a proud moment for me and my family. When I got here I wasn’t really in the mix to play and I had to work my through so this is a proud moment for me.
What leadership skills do you bring to the team?
I think I bring a lot of calmness when we’re under pressure as we did in our first game against FNB UJ when we were trailing at halftime. There’s also been a lot of senior guys who help me to lead the team and that’s going to be vital for us to go further in the competition.
Are the responsibilities different from when you weren’t the captain?
Yes, they’re a bit different because you have to look at the game from an outside perspective, you have to make calls about whether to make a pass or when to go for the line, so there are more responsibilities but I’m up for it.
What is the goal for the Eagles this year?
To win it. We said it from the first day we got here that time for talking is done. We lifted the trophy in 2016 and that’s a few years ago so I think it’s time to give the people of Potchefstroom something to celebrate because they’re always at the Fanie du Toit Sportground supporting us. They deserve it.
by Lesiba Dikhoba