Flank from Selborne College to join Lions in 2021
AWSUM caught up with Joshua van Vreden, flank from Selborne College to talk about his contract at the Lions.
Firstly, congratulations with your signing at the Lions. How does it feel to be seen and acknowledge for your talents? I feel extremely grateful. To be acknowledged and rewarded for my hard work and talent is an absolute honour and I am grateful for everyone who made it possible.
This is a difficult year for the Matrics of 2020, and even more so for the sportsmen and girls. Can you describe your personal experience and feelings in this regards? 2020 has definitely been a roller coaster for all of us. Personally, the cancellation of our matric season was very disappointing, however I always believe in identifying the opportunity in every situation and I’ve used this extra time to really work on the various aspects of my game to prepare for next year. I also believe that this is a great opportunity for us as matrics to put extra effort into making sure we get the best possible matric results.
What influence did your school have on your rugby career? Selborne College has definitely had a massive impact on my rugby career. Our school has such a rich rugby tradition and I can clearly remember going to derbies as a youngster, watching the first XV play and dreaming of one day being able to wear that jersey. What I have learnt from my coaches and teammates at Selborne has also been invaluable.
Who had the most influence o your rugby career thus far and why? I would say my coaches have had the biggest influence on my rugby career thus far. Working with the likes of Mr. Phiwe Nomlomo and Mr. Chase Morrison last year was incredible. I was able to learn a great deal in terms of how to approach training, work ethic and being more professional both on and off the field. The time that I have had with my coaches has made me more passionate about rugby and I am forever grateful for the time they spent with me.
Who is your role model as a rugby player and why? At the moment I would say the players that I look up to the most are Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph Du Toit and Tom Curry. Kolisi’s work rate on and off the ball and his leadership is really something I hope to adopt in my game. Pieter Steph is just an absolute monster on the field and I love his physicality, he also has a huge motor in him and is able to cover the pitch so well. What Tom Curry has been able to achieve at such a young age is very inspirational and his game against the All Blacks in the World Cup Semi-Final showed us how devastating he can be, particularly at the breakdown.
What are you looking forward to the most now that you are a contracted player? I am really looking forward to experiencing life in a professional structure and basically be able to eat, sleep and breath rugby. I know that there is so much more to learn and work on and I believe that being at an awesome union like the Lions will be a great opportunity for growth.
What is your opinion about the Lions and why did you decide to sign with them? The Lions is an amazing union and they have achieved a great deal in recent years. After talking to some of the coaches, players and a few of the people close to me, I felt as though the Lions would be the best move for me in terms of development.
We wish you well for this journey ahead and hope that your dreams will come to reality.