‘Lockdown could extend careers’, says Stormers lock
CAPE TOWN - Stormers lock Salmaan Moerat says the lockdown could actually be beneficial to rugby players’ careers in the long run.
South Africa has been under nationwide lockdown for around four months now, with professional rugby players returning to team training (non-contact) almost two weeks ago.
When sharing his thoughts on the effects of the lockdown on rugby players’ physical state, the promising second-row forward explained that it was All Black legend Dan Carter’s sabbaticals that contributed to this particular belief.
“The lockdown has been different for everyone, it’s not a good thing, but I think it was a good time for players to take a chance to recuperate. I think something like the lockdown could be beneficial to your career, it could lengthen your career in the long run,” Moerat said.
“If you look at a player like Dan Carter, I think there was a stage in his career where he took a six-month sabbatical and I read something where he spoke about how beneficial the lockdown could be to a player’s career, especially if you look at forwards and the amount of impact we take.
“But it’s important that you work your way back again and it’s really important that we build a solid base before we start playing again.”
The Kiwi flyhalf took a break during the Super Rugby competition and went on to star in the 2015 World Cup after taking a mid-career pause.
He also took a six-month break from New Zealand rugby during the 2008/09 season to play for French club Perpignan, although it ended abruptly as he tore his Achilles tendon in January 2009.
Moerat added that he’s confident the Stormers players will be ready for action once the extended Currie Cup competition kicks off - which could be around the second week of September.
“I’m pretty sure we will have at least five weeks of full-contact training before we start playing again, so we should be ready.
“The guys have been spending a lot of time on the watt bikes that we’ve been given, so we’re keeping in shape. We still have certain things to work on, but generally I think the guys are quite fit.
“This lockdown gave each and every layer a bit of hunger ad excitement to be back. We are working in smaller groups, but it’s still great to be able to throw the ball around a bit.”