In an exclusive interview with HSSM's Sazi Luke, Sergeal talks about the state of rugby in the Eastern Province, making the SA Schools side, and why he signed for the EP Kings.
|1st XV Grey High School||2011-12|
|u16 Eastern Province Grant Khomo||2010|
|u16 SA High Performance Squad||2010|
|u17 SA Athletics Team||2011|
|u18 Eastern Prvince Craven Week||2012|
|u18 SA Schools||2012|
HSSM: Sergeal, can you tell me about your initial involvement in rugby, and what age you started taking interest in the sport?
"I used to support New Zealand"
Sergeal Petersen: I started in my junior primary school in Humansdorp, grade one. I think I was about 6 or 7 when I stared playing rugby.
HSSM: Who were your rugby role models growing up?
Sergeal Petersen: It would have to be Doug Howlett (former New Zealand wing/fullback ), we play the same positions and I used to support New Zealand.
HSSM: [laugh]…Quite a bold statement to make on a big sport website
Sergeal Petersen: Ja…[laugh]
HSSM: What has been your biggest support system in your life, rugby-wise and in general?
Sergeal Petersen: It would have to be my mom, and my parents. And my u9 coach Mr Olivier from my junior primary.
"It’s almost like a shortcut to the big stage"
HSSM: What has been your proudest moment in your schoolboy rugby career thus far?
Sergeal Petersen: It would have to be playing SA schools this year… [in 2010] I only made the u16 A High Performance 50-man squad and not the final 22.
HSSM: What has making the SA schools done towards improving your chances of a professional rugby career?
Sergeal Petersen: It definitely has, I’m in the system already. It’s almost like a shortcut to the big stage… I thought I was going to make the 50-man squad, but making the final teams was a big surprise.
"I think the competition is a lot more physical here"
HSSM: There is an assumption that Grey High School is only dominate in the Eastern Cape because they don’t face as tough a opposition as other schools do in other provinces, what do you think of this view?
Sergeal Petersen: Grey High has always been a tough school to play against, they have always been physical up front and the Grey boys have always liked to play the backline. So I think the competition is a lot more physical here.
HSSM: Most people were surprised by your decision to sign for the EP Kings when all of the big four franchises (Sharks, Bulls, Cheetahs, and Western Province) were after your signature. Could you tell us why you chose the EP Kings?
Sergeal Petersen: I feel like I should give back to what this province has done for me over the past years, so I think starting here and maybe ending up at a bigger province is better option then starting at a bigger province then moving back here.
HSSM: Do you feel the involvement of the EP kings in the Super 15 has had a positive impact on Eastern Cape rugby?
Sergeal Petersen: Definitely The supporters will come in numbers while we have the Super rugby and playing in front of a big crowd has always been exciting for the guys.
"It would be a smarter choice to stay here, because now you will be competing with the best teams"
HSSM: So what is your take on the current state of rugby in the province, bearing in mind that a lot of the talented players have left for bigger provinces in the past?
Sergeal Petersen: I think in the past players have moved to play in other provinces to compete with the best, and now that we have the Super Rugby here we can move forward with our current Currie Cup team. It would be a smarter choice to stay here, because now you will be competing with the best teams if you stay here.
HSSM: So what does Sergeal enjoy doing when he is not playing rugby or athletics?
Sergeal Petersen: I watch sports on tv… I really enjoy watching cricket.
HSSM: Is there a special lady in your life yet?
Sergeal Petersen: [LAUGH] No, not yet.