Older, wiser Nizaam Carr keen to prove a point to Jake White
CAPE TOWN - Having always been regarded as one of the youngsters, Nizaam Carr says he finds it “weird” being part of the older group at the Bulls.
The Springbok loose forward, who turns 30 in April, left Cape Town at the height of his Stormers career in 2018 to experience a new adventure with Wasps in England.
In that time, he also had a son, Naeem, which he says has given him a new perspective on life in South Africa's capital city – the territory of the old enemy of his beloved Western Province.
“I think moving overseas has put me in a space where I had to be responsible. Also, being a father to a one-year-old boy, it's really changed my lifestyle – where first, it always used to be about me and things like that,” Carr said yesterday ahead of Sunday's Preparation Series match against Eastern Province at Loftus Versfeld (3pm kick-off).
“Pretoria has been really great for me. People say there isn't much to do, but if you find things to do every single day, then it turns out to be the best thing that can ever happen to you. All these opportunities opened up my eyes to see a different side to how people's cultures are.
“The off-field things have been good. And the No 1 thing for me is that it is easy to find mosques here. I'm a Muslim guy who prides myself on sorting out those things first, and then everything will go smoothly for me on the field. Also, the halaal food – every forward likes to eat all the healthy stuff … not KFC!”
Having had to watch from the bench or the sidelines for much of the time as the Bulls clinched the Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup titles, Carr is set to play a more meaningful role this season ahead of the Rainbow Cup in Europe, considering his previous stint up north.
It is believed that the No 8 – who has five Test caps – may even captain the Bulls against EP on Sunday, with Duane Vermeulen recovering from a knee operation.
“Our squad is quite young. Jean de Villiers and the other guys used to say they were the older boys and we were the younger boys, and now I find myself on the older side of things, so it's quite weird to say that it's a young squad,” Carr said.
“I still feel young – although I might look older, with no hair on my head...
“But having said that, it's a big opportunity for myself firstly, and the rest of the boys to showcase what we've got, and show (coach) Jake (White) that given the responsibility, we can turn up at this level.
“Even for myself … I haven't played as much as I would've liked, but being an older guy, it still feels like I'm playing my very first game. I haven't also started much, so it feels different being involved in things like this.”
* The Bulls confirmed yesterday that scrumhalf Ivan van Zyl will be joining English club Saracens at the end of June.