VIDEO: Carr eager to outshine current Boks
SPOTLIGHT: No.8 Nizaam Carr is relishing the prospect of going up against the ‘best in the world’ when the Bulls host the Sharks at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
The loose forward rejoined the Bulls last season after his English Premiership club Wasps went into administration. He has become a prominent figure in the Bulls’ resurgence under Director of Rugby Jake White.
A product of the Stormers, where he featured with double World Cup winners Siya Kolisi and Eben Etzebeth, the loose forward seems to have regained his confidence at Loftus.
The 32-year-old captained the side during the win against Cardiff in Wales. Two weeks later he backed that up with another impressive show, which included a try during the 53-27 win against Connacht in Round Six.
For some the idea of having to rebuild your career in your 30s will leave you despondent but for Carr, it is just extra motivation to improve.
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“Growing up being a Western Province boykie [young boy], never in my wildest dreams, I would’ve thought of playing for the Bulls,” Carr told reporters via a video press conference.
“But things change, careers change and end of the day it is about you and your career and the silverware you want to win.
“A lot of times my own family can’t understand why I joined the different shade of blue.”
‘Big player or not’
While the Stormers and Bulls will meet on December 23, Carr and his team are preparing for the challenging contest against the Sharks this Saturday.
The Round Seven clash against the Sharks team, fueled with World Cup winners, will be the Bulls’ first South African derby of the season.
Carr admitted it is going to be a very physical match but he is excited to prove himself against the current crop of South Africa internationals.
“We know the Sharks is a very physical team. They are set-piece driven and we are excited,” Carr said.
“We as players like judging and testing ourselves against the best in the world and we [as South Africans] are the best in the world because we are back-to-back World Cup champions.
“I’m looking forward to it. These are the games where you find out if you are a big player or not.
“My whole career since high school is always sort of having to prove myself, and I guess it’s like that for every other player – you want to show that even at this age you still belong at this level.
“A number of times, especially with my family, they say, I’m old and bald and things like that. But I always want to prove that I’m capable of being at this level and outshining guys who are current Springboks.”
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Carr, who made his debut for South Africa in 2014, revealed he has not given up on his national ambitions.
The 32-year-old, who earned the last of his five Test caps in 2016, said the derby is a perfect platform to break into the national set-up.
“I [have played for Springboks] and a good example for me is Deon Fourie winning a World Cup [aged 37] this year.
“That is hope for a lot of us to get back in the set-up, and there’s no better platform than against those guys [Bok-laden Sharks] this weekend, or any SA derby.”
The 32-year-old’s early career in Cape Town could be beneficial when he goes up against his former Stormers teammates Etzebeth and Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
“I grew up with them in Cape Town, so definitely going to throw them a chirp or two.
“Eben is a solid character and an even greater rugby player.
“Notshe has improved so much and taken his game to another level.
“So, really looking forward to it.”