Small Town Boy, Big City Dreams! Meet Taariq Kruger

Kruger hails from Kimberley; after matriculating from Durban High School, he moved down to the cape to be an Ikey Tiger! It was a tough decision between Maties and UCT but Jono Field’s influence managed to convince him to join the club. We are glad you are here!

1. How old were you when you started playing rugby?


I was 13 years old when I started playing rugby. I played hockey, cricket and soccer. One day in primary school the rugby coach came up to me and said “you’re quite big for your age” and the next week I joined the rugby team!

2. What was your first rugby memory?

My first rugby memory would be the first time I went to rugby training. My parents fetched me and I said, “I need some sugar in my body”. We stopped at the OK on the way home and I got a bar-one and my parents said “listen, you need to make a decision.” And from then on, I decided that rugby would be my sport!

3. Who is your role model and why?

I don’t think I have a role model, I like to set my own standards. At the end of the day, you set yourself out to be like them but then you fail. So, I rather like to set personal goals and then achieve them.

4. Can you remember your first training session at UCT?

It was the Hermanus Camp, it was quite tough, nothing like school boy rugby. They throw you in the deep end! I had to adapt to this lifestyle; very quickly.  

5. What do you eat before a big match?

It depends where we are playing, if we play at the Green Mile, I have an egg and mayo sandwich, three samoosas and the muffins the club provide. It’s cheap and quality, you know. I’m getting my carbs, protein and even my veggies.

6. Describe your perfect weekend.

My perfect weekend is the Sunday after a tough match on Saturday. My body is usually extremely sore on the Sunday, so I can just sleep and relax the whole day. I also don’t have to do anything around the house because I have a good excuse. It’s weird, I really like the pain, it almost like the fruits of my labour.

7. What’s a typical day of a Varsity Cup rugby player (during season)?

I wake up at 8am, have breakfast and then straight to campus for lectures. I then go back to Res (Kapano) for lunch and to work. At about 4:30pm I start making my way to the Green Mile to warm up and train.

8. What motivates you to achieve your goals?

The fact that I know that I can do something, without being a financial burden to my parents. If I succeed, I have the chance to get a scholarship. I am very independent and I want to take the stress and pressure off of them as well.

9. What’s the next goal in your rugby career?

Short term: Training to make WP U19 team next year.
Long term: I plan on making it, and playing up to the age of 26 so I can enjoy the rest of my life; without too many injuries!

10. What are your hobbies aside from rugby?

Having alone time and chilling by myself or going to the gym. I recently went through a transition with regards to my religion. I never used to take my religion seriously, but now I enjoy praying and actually see it as a hobby; praying five times a day and abiding by the rules of Islam.

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