In an exclusive interview, the multi-talented DHS pupil Kurt Webster spoke to HSSM's Sazi Luke about making the SA U16A High Performance Squad, the influence of his family, and whether or not there’s a special lady in his life. This confident yet humble sportsman has had a solid run so far and he's showing no signs of slowing down.
HSSM: So Kurt, tell me a bit about yourself and when you started taking interest in rugby.
Kurt Webster: I started playing rugby at Grade 4, playing U10A.
HSSM: Who were your role models growing up, which guys did you look up to on the rugby field?
Kurt Webster: It was Bryan Habana at one stage, then when I switched to being a forward I looked up to John Smith.
“A lot of people do compare me to my brother”
HSSM: When did you change from being a backline line player to being a forward?
Kurt Webster: I was a forward from like my U10 upwards, then this year at U16 was my first time playing at backline.
HSSM: That was quite a big change from flank to fly half, especially experimenting with that change on your debut 1st XV season. What made your coaches make such a drastic positional change with you?
Kurt Webster: My coaches said from a young age I’ve had very good hands and skills. So they said if I lose weight I would make quite a good fly half.
“This past season wasn’t the greatest”
HSSM: Who has been your biggest influence in the sporting arena?
Kurt Webster: My brother, Mikyle Webster (DHS old boy 1st XV flank and Sharks Academy player). I really looked up to him.
HSSM: The Webster Family have represented DHS at numerous 1st team levels, i.e. Swimming, water polo, and rugby; has that put pressure on you to keep up the family’s sporting name as your brothers did in years past?
Kurt Webster: No, not really, sports have always played a big part in our family. We are all bred with sports in our blood. My mother did athletics and my dad was a soccer player.
HSSM: So does your family’s heavy involvement in sports have any impact on you personally?
Kurt Webster: A lot of people do compare me to my brother [Mikyle], they ask me whether I will be as good as him, and my answer is I don’t know.
HSSM: That creates a bit of pressure on you to live up to his standard, how does he feel about this?
Kurt Webster: He always pushes me and helps me where I can improve and stuff. So to me he is like a role model.
"there is going to be a bright future for [DHS]"
HSSM: What do you think of the current state of rugby at DHS this season?
Kurt Webster: This past season wasn’t the greatest. We never had a lot of depth in our team and that made players comfortable as there was not a lot of competition for places.
HSSM: Your age division U16A had quite a good season this year, does that make the future bright for DHS rugby?
Kurt Webter: I started off playing for and captaining the U16A before being promoted to 1st. I had a good vibe playing for them, so there is going to be a bright future for the school.
HSSM: How did it feel being bumped up from U16A to first team?
Kurt Webster: There was a lot of pressure at first as I was the youngest player, so I couldn’t always do what I wanted unlike in the U16A where I was captain. So at one point I wanted to go back to U16A because of that.
HSSM: How did it feel when you first found out you made U16 SA High Performance Squad?
Kurt Webster: When I first heard it I was very excited, and shocked, because at the Grant Khomo Week there were big flanks. So it’s been a great achievement for this year.
“I actually came to DHS for my swimming”
HSSM: Were you expecting to make the SA U16 high performance squad?
Kurt Webster: No, my goal was just to make Grant Khomo. But when I saw how I was playing at the festival my coaches said I had a good chance of making it, and that gave me a little bit of hope.
HSSM: So do you now feel you might have a shot at professional rugby career now that you have made your junior SA colours.
Kurt Webster: I do hey, they look after you for two years and help you become a better player.
HSSM: So what other sports do you play?
Kurt Webster: I swim for the U16A, I actually came to DHS for my swimming on a sports scholarship. I also played U16A soccer.
HSSM: What do you do when you’re not at school doing sports?
Kurt Webster: I like to chill, play touch rugby with my brothers.
HSSM: And finally, the question all high school girls want to know. Is there anyone special in your life?
Kurt Webster: Hahahaha… No, not yet.