We are exceptionally proud of Ikey players, Stef De Gouveia and Nyasha Tarusenga who both received their 50th cap on the 25 February 2019.
We caught up with the two players to find out what exactly their 50th cap meant to them.
1. What does it mean to you to earn your 50th cap for the Ikeys?
Stef: Playing 50 caps for the 1st XV was a huge privilege. I have been at the club for a number of years and have seen some great players play their 50th, so it was always something I would have liked to have achieved. It’s definitely something that I am proud of and won’t forget easily.
Nyahsha: It was really an honour and an amazing experience. Something that I had never imagined when I started.
2. What moment(s) would you pinpoint as your highlights during your time playing for UCT?
Stef: Winning intervarsity in 2018, winning the inaugural University World Cup 2015 and playing my 50th cap.
Nyasha: The two that come to mind are winning the World Rugby University Cup and winning the Intervarsity at the Danie Craven Stadium in 2018.
3. Why do you play rugby? What impact has the game had on your life?
Stef: I have grown up always playing rugby throughout high school and so it was something that quickly became a norm in my life, and I wanted to continue playing at Varsity. Some of my best friendships were made by having played in the same team and many of my fondest memories growing up have come from rugby – whether it was on the field or during a fines meeting. Apart from giving me much joy and a sense of camaraderie, rugby has also taught me many life lessons too. It is a sport that forces you to work with people who you don’t necessarily share the same values or opinions with and it also teaches you how to handle disappointment. Being dropped, losing a close match, playing badly or playing with and against people you don’t agree with has really helped me to learn how to work in a team environment effectively and to control how I react to disappointment – both of which are inevitable in the real world.
Nyasha: Rugby has opened countless doors in my life and has allowed me to experience things and meet people that I otherwise would have never met. It also provides a platform for me to express myself and represent my friends and family.
4. Who’s the most talented Ikey you have ever shared the field with? Why?
Stef: Tiger Bax, hands down. Tiger had the ability to always remain calm on the field and would produce some magic at the most unexpected times. I was only able to play a handful of games with Tiger because he was leaving as I started playing seniors, but the way he trained and played was unbelievable. He is also an incredibly humble man who was a great leader to all the young players.
Nyasha: Most talented Ikey would have to be Huw Jones. He was a great player for the club and has gone on to prove himself on the international stage.
5. How would you describe the spirit of the Ikey Tigers?
Stef: I would describe the spirit of the Ikeys as being one which prides itself on creating a sense of belonging for anyone involved, whether that role is as a player, coach or manager. We continue to strive to be a player-driven club that makes the best of what we have, which is why we are different. It would be hard to describe the club and what it stands for to someone who has never experienced it for themselves, but I think that the majority of people involved and who read this will understand what I mean when I say that it is by no means ordinary.
Nyasha: The spirit of the Ikey Tigers is that of fun and freedom. It’s a spirit where all club members have the freedom to express who they are on and off the field and having fun while doing it.
6. Over your time at the Club, which Ikey would you say best embodied that Ikey spirit? Why?
Stef: There are two players who I have always admired for their attitude to not only the club but also to fellow players and coaches. The first is Digby Webb who was incredibly welcoming to me straight from high school. He was a club man through and through and I will always remember how much effort he put into the club and those who played with him. The second would be Guy Alexander. Guy was and still is an incredible leader on and off the
field. He looked after me a lot when I was still u20 and I am grateful for all the chats he and I had about not just rugby but life in general. I hope that one day a younger player can think of me the way I do of them.
Nyasha: Wes Chetty. I think it’s quite remarkable to play over 100 caps for varsity and the way he has continued to contribute to the club over and over again is something to aspire to. Wes actually coached me when I was an u20 and now I get to play with him and it’s truly an honour.