Young NMMU-Madibaz rugby star Jeremy Ward goes into every match as if it were his last.
“Someone once told me to leave everything between the four lines and that is what I try to do every time,” the 20-year-old BCom Accounting student said after the opening round of the FNB Varsity Cup.
He was one of the players who had put his body on the line in a bruising encounter against UJ.
“Every individual gave their very best and really bought into how we want to play as a team.
The outside centre said his main focus was now to cement his place in the Varsity Cup team and, with time, he would like to play a leading role.
“Being young, I feel I can bring a new dimension to the way we play. I would like to set an example that the rest of the team can be proud of.”
Further down the line, Ward has his sights set on the Eastern Province Currie Cup team and, beyond that, he would like to play for his country.
He showed his leadership skills when he led the EP Kings to the U19 Currie Cup title last year.
“It was an experience that I will never forget. I feel like being part of that has certainly given me an opportunity to take my rugby career to the next level, starting with the Varsity Cup.
“I’m always looking for areas of my game that I can improve on. If you want to get somewhere, you should not shy away from putting in the extra hours.
“Inspiration is about your mindset and with the right mindset anything is possible.”
Madibaz head coach David Maidza said Ward showed a maturity beyond his years.
“He is a born leader both by action and by his motivating speeches.
Ward, who said he drew inspiration from the way players like Jean de Villiers and Dan Carter played the game, has not lost sight of life beyond rugby.
“It comes with a lot of risk, so I find it important to have a sound qualification behind my name.”