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Bok call-up a 'surreal' dream

Wed, 22 May 2013 15:53
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I've been really striving towards it for the past two years
Quote-end

Southern Kings flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis described being been called up to the Springbok training squad as being surreal.

Catrakilis is one of eight players who were not part of the first Bok training camp back in mid-April.

The Kings' 23-year-old flyhalf, Catrakilis, will be part of a 38-man squad that will gather in Durban on Sunday for a training camp.

"It's a dream come true for me," Catrikilis said on Wednesday.

"it's something I've been really striving towards for the past two years," he added.

"Like every kid it's been a dream of mine, and to eventually be here is a bit surreal," the elated Kings pivot said.

Catrakilis said he was happy with his form so far this season, but that there was always room for improvement.

"I'm satisfied with what I have done so far, but I could always get better and that's what I am looking to do," he added.

Asked about his debut Super Rugby season with the Southern Kings, Catrakilis said: "I've learnt in life that some things come at the right time, and this [joining the Kings] came at the right time for me.

"I'm just grateful for the opportunity and had to grab it with both hands.

"It's been really exciting, It is a really nice team, it's a nice union and PE is a really beautiful place."

Catrikilis, who was also a very talented soccer player and had a year with top SA team Moroka Swallows before choosing Rugby Union over football, was selected for an Invitational South African team that played in the Brazil Cup in 2005.

Schooled at St John's College in Johannesburg, where he played for the first XV as a 15-year-old and then went on to captain the first team in his final school year, he also represented the Golden Lions Under-18 team in the Academy Week and was then chosen to represent the Golden Lions Under-19 team.

Following the season with the Golden Lions Under-19 team, Catrikilis was spotted by French Top 14 team Racing Metro, where he enjoyed a brief stint with the Under-23 squad before returning back home to South Africa.

He had a very successful season with the False Bay club in Cape Town's Super League, where he was spotted by University of Cape Town scouts and played for the Ikey Tigers during the 2011 Varsity Cup - when the Cape Town students won the tournament.

Despite those successes, he never progressed past the Western Province Currie Cup team - which he helped to win their first title in 11 years in 2012 - and opted to move to Port Elizabeth this year to further his career.

Catrakilis became the first South African in seven years to exceed 100 points in his Super Rugby debut during the game against the Highlanders, and currently boasts 107 points - ranking as the ninth highest point scorer in the overall competition.

He joins just three other fellow South Africans - Morné Steyn (163 points), Pat Lambie (139 points) and Joe Pietersen (125) - in the centurion club for the 2013 Super Rugby season.

Last year's Vodacom Cup Player of the Year, follows in the footsteps of the Stormers' Peter Grant - who reached 100 points in his debut Super Rugby season in 2006, while Steyn did it in his debut playing for the Bulls in 2005.

Six more South Africans have reached 100 points in their first season of Super Rugby – four of them in 1996.

They are Jannie Kruger (Northern Transvaal), Henry Honiball (Natal), Joel Stransky (WP), Gavin Lawless (Transvaal) and André Joubert.

In 2001 Andrew James scored 100 points for the Sharks in his first season.

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