No half measures for Schalk
You have to go back more than a decade, to his school days, that Schalk Ferreira last captained a team. Jan de Koning chats to the new Kings captain.
You have to go back more than a decade, to his school days, that Schalk Ferreira last captained a team.
But it will be a proud and determined 29-year-old prop leading the Southern Kings onto the field against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.
Describing his appointment as "awesome" Schalk Jakobus Petrus Ferreira will become the fourth Kings captain in as many matches.
Luke Watson (throat injury in Week One), Darron Nell (who strained a calf muscle in the warm-up before the encounter with the Chiefs) and Steven Sykes (who took over the captaincy from Nell was injured during the game against the Chiefs) have all been ruled out for this week.
Add to that Andries Strauss, who took over as stand-in captain after Watson left the field and was also injured against the Chiefs, and the gravity of the injury curse become clear.
However, Ferreira is determined to make the most of his chance to lead the tournament rookies, the Kings, in New Zealand.
"You want to play at the highest level and one of my schoolboy dreams was playing the Crusaders in Christchurch," he told this website in a telephone interview.
"Being the captain is a huge privilege and a huge honour," he said, adding that his last captaincy role was at school - when he played for Paul Roos in Stellenbosch in 2002.
"I was vice-captain in the [Western Province] Crave Week-winning team with Paul Delport and Earl Rose [in 2002] and I was the vice-captain of the South African Under-19 team ," he told this website.
"I've had a few vice-captaincy roles, but this is the first captaincy role in a long time."
Asked what kind of leader he sees himself as, Ferreira said: "It would fall under motivator."
He felt there was plenty of leadership support in the team.
"Whether it is kicking, set-plays or line-outs, there is leadership that I can tap into and make my life a lot easier," he said.
Asked about the Kings' encounter with the seven-time champion Crusaders - a team that put more than 40 points past the Bulls last week - the Kings skipper said they will not change their approach.
"The way we play, there is no half-measures for us," Ferreira said, adding: "We have to play at full tilt all the time - keeping the momentum and aggression and pace of play up.
"We must cut down our errors. They are such a good outfit and there are no real weaknesses in their team, so we are really focussing on ourselves this week and fixing up some of our mistakes and working on our discipline - just to be more 'streamlined' and not making a lot of mistakes."
By Jan de Koning