DURBAN - Even at the reasonably tender age of 25, Kobus van Wyk is too professional a rugby player to carry vengeance in his heart.
But there was no escaping the gleam in his eye when he was asked what it would mean to him to score a try for the Sharks against a Western Province team that seemed to jettison him with in haste.
Van Wyk, a deadly finisher, is a Cape man born and bred and when asked about Saturday’s Currie Cup match at Newlands, he describes it as “my first game back home”.
It surely will not be long when he regards Kings Park as his home base, and while his colours are now firmly pinned to the mast of the ship flying the colours of black and white, he cannot immediately forget that he was a Paarl Gimnasium product, WP Craven Week player and SA Schools representative followed by 45 appearances for the Cape franchise at Currie Cup and Super Rugby level.
“It will be my first match back at Newlands since I left (there was an intervening season at French club Bordeax), so I am looking forward to the experience of being a ‘visitor’ at a place where I played so much of my rugby," Van Wyk said.
“I won’t mind if I get a bit of the bird from the crowd because that will only spur me on to play even better. I know that Newlands crowd well. I hope they will pick me up (even if they are aiming to do the opposite).
"We have a few other ex-Western Province boys in the team (including captain Ruan Botha), and we feel the atmosphere is there for us to feed on rather than it be the other way around (intimidation)."
The Sharks are coming off a bye after three games in eight days, but Van Wyk admits the going was tougher on the forwards.
Speaking like a true wing he smiled: “It was tough on the body for the guys and we kept our feet up as much as possible over that period. The forwards took a battering. You just have to have a look at Jacques Vermeulen (the flank who was man of the match against the Bulls and the Lions) to see the battle scars.
“Those three wins in succession have meant a lot to us in terms of confidence that we can fight back from the toughest of situations, and it does not get much tougher than the position we were in against the Lions!”