One of the most relaxed, funny and unorthodox characters around. I managed to have a chat with Willie Britz who was entertaining and absolutely insightful. The former Lions man had lots to share as we spoke Gold Coast, Naka Drotske among many topics!
BC – Hi Willie, how are you?
WB- I’m great thanks, getting myself game ready again!!
BC- How has your season been?
WB – I must say it has been one very blessed season! I really did get an amazing opportunity to play at the Cheetahs, and make the number 8 jersey my own. Playing almost 80 minutes every game and only missing a few games throughout due to small injuries! All praise to God for that!
BC – By all accounts, you were loved in Johannesburg (JHB). How is Bloemfontein treating you?
WB – *Chuckles* Yes I fitted in well in JHB, but really feels like I’m back home now. The Cheetahs’ supporters are also ‘die hard’ supporters like the Lions supporters. It’s always great to hear them support us through thick and thin!! I know there are some very exciting things ahead for the Cheetahs, so I am very excited to see what’s going to happen.
BC – Any chance you will be getting a haircut soon?
WB – I don’t think so, but need to get in tune with the Cheetahs brand, so maybe going to get some spots in between the mane!! *laughter*
BC – Tell us about Naka Drotske. Does he deserve the flak he has been getting from the media and fans?
WB – I don’t really read the newspapers or watch the news, so don’t know what the media and fans have said. What I can say is that he is a very good coach and had a few great years with the Cheetahs. I really wish him all the best at his new career! Another thing is that the Cheetahs had their third best season ever if I recall, and the supporters forget about that. It’s a tough industry, that’s rugby, but think the flak they give him is unnecessary.
BC – Tell us about Franco Smith, he seemed to add a few new faces that showed added hunger to the side?
WB – I’m very excited to play under him and the new coaching staff! He is bringing a new dimension to Cheetahs rugby – rugby that the world wants to watch, and I have the world’s respect for him. He loves Jesus, and is not ashamed about it. I really believe that plays a big part in the success he has had in the past and all the success that is coming towards the Cheetahs!
BC – You will be playing in Japan soon, what do you know about that move? What are you hoping to experience?
WB – I am super excited about the new journey. I don’t really know what to expect, but know that the rugby is very fast. I want to go experience the culture – knowing that they have a lot of respect and discipline in their culture. I am looking forward to learning from them as well! I also know I am going to have to fine tune a few aspects to my personal game, to adjust to the speed, the high level of skill and intensity there. I can only benefit from the experience and bring it forward to Super Rugby 2016.
BC – Tell us about a story from tour?
WB – There’s so many stories from one tour, difficult to highlight the best one, but the friendships you build and the time you spend together is awesome!! One day a few of us bought like R80 swimming goggles, and hired snorkel gear, and went snorkelling like amateurs. We grabbed a few pizzas and beers and went for a late lunch on the beach. We then ended the night off in a swimming pool before we went to town a bit. A lot of jokers in the team scaring each other the whole time playing practical jokes on one another. You can never be at ease and just relax. You are always entertained though!
BC – If you were to play for an Australian team, which one would you choose?
WB – That’s a tough choice but must say it would probably be between the Waratahs and Reds, because of staying in a place like Coogee Beach, Manley Beach, or on the Gold Coast which is surfers’ paradise, must be awesome! I’d buy a place there, and have amazing vacations! At the end of the day, nothing beats the farm and the bush!!