Ireland

Ireland call on Maties hooker

Wed, 15 Jan 2014 12:30
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I always knew he was going to make it
Quote-end

Former Maties hooker Rob Herring was named in Ireland's Six Nations squad alongside South African-born Ulster teammate Robbie Diack.

Herring played for Maties in 2012, taking the No.2 jersey from former captain Callie Visagie who signed with the Lions at the end of 2011, and made a big impression in his only season with the Stellenbosch outfit.

The robust hooker went to high school at SACS in Cape Town and spent his first year out of school in England where he played for London Irish before moving back to the Cape to study a B.Comm Law at Stellenbosch University.

Three-time Varsity Cup-winning coach Chean Roux was in his final season with Maties before going on to become Performance Analyst for the Springboks, and he never had any doubt about Herring's abilities.

"He is an exceptional player, I always knew he was going to make it somewhere," Roux said.

Herring's performances in the 2012 Varsity Cup, which included a hat-trick against the NMMU Madibaz, earned him a call-up to the Western Province side that went on to win the Vodacom Cup under former Ikey Tigers coach John Dobson.

At the end of 2012 Herring, who qualifies for Ireland due to his ancestry, was offered a short-term contract with Ulster and jumped at the opportunity although he had not yet completed his studies.

"He did very well academically so I think it was a tough decision to leave but he has since signed a two-year contract with Ulster and has a great opportunity playing under Rory Best who is coming to the end of his career," explained Roux.

He forms part of a strong South African contingent in Belfast alongside the likes of Ruan Pienaar, Johann Muller and Diack.

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