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Charl Marais - Captain of Winterberg

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Charl Marais, not a man of many words, is a leader. He is headboy of Winterberg Agricultural School, head of the koshuis and captain of the 1st XV as it prepares for its FNB Classic Clash with Adelaide Gimnasium on Saturday.

He was for a short while at Adelaide Gim till he moved to Winterberg – all of 37 km away – half way through Std 6 (Grade 8). He is from a family of sheep and angora farmers outside Adelaide and wants himself to become a farmer – intending to study  next year at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in game-farming management. He also intends going on with his rugby career.

This is his third year in the 1st XV. This will be his third match against Adelaide Gim, and this time he is hoping for victory. In 2003 Adelaide won 18-10 and in 2004 23-7, which was a grievous disappointment to Charl. "We did not play the way we wanted to play."

This year Winterberg will want to play with their backs. They have excellent backs – two strong, fast wings in Charl and Sinovuyo Ganto and an outstanding match-winner in their flyhalf Aubrey MacDonald. Aubrey made the Eastern Province side as a wing/fullback at Craven Week this year, versatile player that he is, and then the SA Schools side. According to Charl, he is the player that sets the backs going.

Charl played for Eastern Province Country Districts at the Academy Week last year but missed out this year, "because of the quota system", according to coach André van Vuuren. Charl says that the highlights of his career have been chosen for the first team for the first time and then being chosen for Eastern Province.

Charl hopes that his backs are the ones who will win the match against the massive Adelaide pack.

Charl enjoys being a leader, despite the pressure of having to set a good example. He has been a captain since his Under-14 year.

Charl Pierre Marais was born in Adelaide on 26 May 1986.

For a general view of Winterberg, click here.

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