How is the leg injury and where do you draw strength when you are faced with injuries or other obstacles?
Ruan Combrinck: Rehab is going well thanks to the help of many professionals at the Lions, so I will be ready to play again late March/April this year. My strength comes from the Lord first of all. We also have a great psychologist in Oom Jannie Putter who puts you in the right state of mind. You realize that every setback is made for a greater come back.
Any special moments from the past rugby season you would like to share?
Ruan Combrinck: Having the honour of playing for the Springboks, a lifelong dream, was surely number one. Making my debut at home made it even more special. The other was playing in the Super Rugby final. We lost the final, but it was so amazing to have been part of Lions history!
What are your goals for 2017?
Ruan Combrinck: I want to master the fundamentals and work on every aspect of my game. To fight my way back into the Lions starting line up and represent my country. To inspire people for the love of the game and to glorify God in everything I do.
Who are the most challenging individuals you have faced on the rugby field and what makes them so challenging?
Ruan Combrinck: Every opponent is challenging at this level. Super Rugby and International rugby has proven to me that you can never rate anybody higher than another, with every guy having his strengths and weaknesses. It’s a challenge every week and that’s why I play this game.
What is the best rugby or general life advice you have ever gotten?
Ruan Combrinck: Two things I have learned and live by: Self discipline on the field and more so off the field. Team above yourself. If it’s ever about you in your mind you will fall!
What are the essential skills of a quality rugby wing?
Ruan Combrinck: You have to look for work and have a massive work rate off the ball. So many games I felt I was hugely involved, but hardly got the ball. That’s the nature of the game. In that way gaps are opened for others around you.
Kicking is a key part of the modern game, how do you go about improving this skill?
Ruan Combrinck: It’s all about putting in the work every week. You can never skip kicking sessions and expect to be better on the weekend. It is part of knowing it’s fundamental and you have to try master it.
What do you enjoy about being part of the PUMA family and how have they contributed to your growth as an athlete?
Ruan Combrinck: It’s the biggest growing brand and has the most amazing clothes for leisure and sportswear. It’s such a humble feeling knowing I can go grab something at PUMA that I need and they will always have it in store.
What do you enjoy about the PUMA evoPOWER Vigor boots and why do they suit your game?
Ruan Combrinck: I enjoy the PUMA evoPower boot because it gives me a solid grip and fits my foot like a glove. It’s very, very comfortable.
You are active on Twitter – what do you offer in terms of content which encourages people follow you?
Ruan Combrinck: I don’t do social media with the intention of wanting people to follow me. I just share my daily activities and people seem to enjoy it. It’s all about sharing respectful things.