The 2016 season will mark Kobus Porter’s fourth and final FNB Varsity Cup campaign and his second year leading the University of Johannesburg rugby team onto the field.
According to Porter, it was a great honour for him to don the captain’s armband for another year and he hoped to make a positive impact in his remaining Varsity Cup appearances.
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“I look forward to every single game as 2016 will be the last year I can play before aging out of the tournament,” said the Porter.
The 24-year-old loose forward grew up in Krugersdorp and matriculated from Noordheuwel High School six years ago.
In 2010, he joined the Western Province under-19 team that went on to win that year’s Currie Cup, before returning home and enrolling for an LLB degree and joining FNB UJ.
“Next year will mark both my final Varsity Cup year and the year I finish my degree. It’s bittersweet, but I plan on making it a good one.”
The team narrowly missed out on this year’s play-offs, winning three games and suffering two narrow defeats to FNB Maties (16-15) and FNB UCT (8-0). They did however go on to win every other tournament they participated in, including the University Sport South Africa rugby championship.
“The 2015 Varsity Cup taught us many things,” admitted Porter.
“We learned to control the things we can and that every team creates their own luck. In the end there were seven other teams fighting for the same spot as us and we faced some tough battles.”
Heading into the new season, he said his team would certainly take some confidence from their recent wins, but that those victories would count for nothing when they ran back onto the field.
“Those wins are irrelevant now,” said Porter.
What will however help the team is the wealth of experience that many of the players will be carrying into the new season.
The Old Bulls, as they are known, have been part of the UJ setup for some time and will look to continue the charge in their Varsity Cup swansong, while some of their younger teammates have come through the junior ranks to take over from the old guard.
“We have some continuity in our team that I believe will be to our advantage. The young guys coming into the team will them be able to continue on the path we started.”