Less than 12 months ago, he led his team to a historic first Varsity Cup title. Now he will have to support them from the sideline as they search for a special victory at Fanie du Toit.
When we sat on a pavilion next to the green pitch of the Fanie du Toit Sports Ground, he managed to smile as his eyes filled up. On the sideline is not the way FNB NWU-Pukke’s captain Jeandré Rudolph wanted to spend his final game on home soil.
“I think the Fanie is a special place for every Puk rugby player,” said Rudolph. “Since my first year, when we saw the players playing and with a packed crowd, that was just the ultimate. No matter what, as a youngster, you just wanted to play on that specific pitch.
“It’s going to be a very emotional day, win or lose. I think to say goodbye to a special place where you spent so much time, running around, being scolded at, having a laugh and sometimes feeling deserted, will not be easy,” added Rudolph.
His first appearance in front of his home crowd was in 2015 when the FNB NWU-Pukke played against the FNB Madibaz.
“My fondest memory is definitely when we [FNB Pukke] claimed victory over FNB Tuks, also in 2015, my debut year,” said Rudolph.
Rudolph will, unfortunately, have to back his boytjies from the stands as they take on the FNB Tuks at 16:45 in the hope to win with a bonus point victory to secure a spot in the semi-finals. He has been ruled out with an ankle injury sustained against FNB UCT.
Follow @varsitycup for live tweets about this encounter or stay tuned on SuperSport 1.
By Raynique Meyer