Valke front-rower Gihard Visagie believes the team from Kempton Park can test the top teams during the upcoming SuperSport Challenge.
The Valke will join South Africa’s 13 other rugby unions and Namibia’s Welwitschias to compete in the new SuperSport Challenge, which will be a 13-week tournament that is set to take rugby in a whole new direction from 22/23 April.
As part of the new look, the SuperSport Rugby Challenge will SuperStack matches with as many as three games hosted back-to-back at a single venue – one of which will be a local club rugby match.
The Valke will face the Blue Bulls, Golden Lions, Pumas and the Welwitschias in their group. Gihard Visagie, who can play at tighthead prop and hooker, believes the competition will be an exciting test for the team.
“We’ve had a long and positive pre-season together,” Visagie told MyPlayers. “As a unit, we have a lot to play for. Many players are still new to the professional system, so we want to prove ourselves against some of the best teams and players in the country.
“We want to play our hearts out. It won’t be easy, but if we play to our strengths, we can put ourselves in very good positions to challenge our opponents.”
Individually, Visagie hopes to make a good impact on the field during his second season of professional rugby. The Helpmekaar Braamfontein old boy has played age-group rugby for the Golden Lions Academy teams and for Wits in the Varsity Shield before signing a deal with the Valke.
“I just want to make the most of every opportunity and make a valuable contribution to the team’s goals. I want to get good game time and prove myself at a senior level,” explained Visagie.
“Having come through some good development structures, I’m excited to test myself at a professional level this season.”
North: Vodacom Blue Bulls, Xerox Golden Lions, Valke, Steval Pumas, Namibia Welwitschias.
Central: Toyota Free State Cheetahs, Down Touch Griffons, Tafel Lager Griquas, Leopards, Cell C Sharks XV.
South: Boland Cavaliers, Border Bulldogs, EP Kings, SWD Eagles, DHL Western Province.\
By Gareth Duncan