Jaco Kriel Interview
- How do you feel about the upcoming Currie Cup campaign?
I am very excited about the Lions’ Currie Cup campaign. We’ve got a very young group of players coming through and, of course, we’re a team that plays for each other and we make sure that we play a great brand. We definitely want to play a great brand of rugby this season. The Lions always strive to work harder than the opposition and this season will be no different.
- How are the Lions keeping the momentum going from the SuperRugby success?
We tell ourselves that we haven’t achieved anything yet. This SuperRugby campaign, we finished 8th on the log, which isn’t good enough for us and we’re still working hard. Going forward, we are aiming to win more trophies.
- What does the team need to do to secure the trophy this season?
For the Lions, it is very important to win our home games and then take it game by game from there. Something we learnt last season is that a home semi-final and final is vital.
- Which team will be the biggest challenge for the Lions?
I think there are a lot of teams that will pose a challenge for us. Obviously, the Bulls, Sharks and Province will be tough teams to take on, but a team like the Pumas is always out there for the win. The Griquas are hard to play in Kimberley and even at home, so there’s massive competition. It’s so strong that it is hard to pinpoint just one team. It’s going to be a difficult tournament.
- With so many games being played, how do you stay on top form?
There’s a lot of rugby being played throughout the year, and luckily we have a great management team who look after the players well. Week by week, as a player, you must make sure you’re ready for the weekend and take recovery seriously. Us players have to make sure that our bodies are ready for Friday or Saturday.
- What does the Currie Cup mean to you?
I haven’t yet won a Currie Cup and it’s always been a dream of mine to win the trophy. I know I’ll work hard towards that goal, along with the rest of the team.
- What keeps you motivated?
With this platform, I am motivated to be a role model and make a difference in other people’s lives, both on and off the field.
- Could you give us some of your fitness tips?
In South Africa, people want to look good, so they spend hours in the gym, but aren’t necessarily fit. I’d advise that, if you want to lose weight, you should spend time doing cardio, in addition to weight training.
- Fitness and nutrition are vital for an athlete’s success. What kind of eating regime do you follow?
We have a somewhat strict diet – On an average day, I eat breakfast, two snacks between training sessions, lunch, two more snacks and then dinner – that’s just to keep body weight stable! That’s not even when I’m trying to add weight on. It’s definitely and effort to prepare all those meals.