Former rugby players plan for even more success with their podcast in 2024

Former rugby players Juan de Jongh and Rudy Paige are the hosts of the ‘Behind the Ruck’ podcast. Picture: Instagram.

Former rugby players Juan de Jongh and Rudy Paige are the hosts of the ‘Behind the Ruck’ podcast. Picture: Instagram.

Published Jan 5, 2024


Podcasting has become a global phenomenon in recent years, covering a wide array of topics from fashion and conspiracy theories, to debates and sports.

In 2023, former rugby players Juan de Jongh and Rudy Paige jumped on the podcasting bandwagon, launching their own show centred around rugby and sport in general.

What sets their podcast, “Behind the Ruck”, apart is the infusion of comedy, and their take on the challenges that face the sporting world, as well as life after rugby.

Beyond that, the podcast is committed to shining a spotlight on local sports stars.

In an exclusive interview, De Jongh and Paige opened up about their aspirations and dreams for 2024, envisioning continued growth and success for “Behind the Ruck”.

De Jongh expressed his enthusiasm for wrapping up a successful year, especially with his wife and kids.

Reflecting on the past, he shared: “The most crucial lesson I’m carrying into 2024 is the realisation that we often lack control over the events in our lives. Despite planning to play rugby in 2024, things didn’t unfold as expected."

He also revealed that him and Paige initially only planned to start the podcast in 2024, but they instead decided to take on the challenge earlier than planned.

“Always have a plan in whatever you do, and if things don’t unfold as expected, be ready to adapt to a new journey,” said De Jongh.

“Therefore it’s important to have goals and plans for the new year, because if you don’t have goals, it’s often just a wish,” he added.

The dynamic duo are already “cruising nicely“ through their 26th episode, airing every Thursday.

To kick off the new year, they’ve lined up the current 400m world champ, Wayde van Niekerk, as their first guest.

“The fact that we have a world champ on our first episode for 2024 is a fantastic start,” Paige believes.

Reflecting on lessons from 2023, he added: “An important takeaway for me is not to be scared to start something. I used to be anxious about the future after rugby. Starting ‘Behind the Ruck’ with Juan made me more aware that you shouldn’t be afraid to take risks.”

Meanwhile, Paige said that he doesn’t buy into the concept of New Year's resolutions.

Instead, he places his belief in cultivating good habits and maintaining discipline, something he strives to achieve on a daily basis.

De Jongh and Paige are eagerly looking forward to celebrating their 50th episode in 2024, considering it a noteworthy milestone in both their personal lives, as well as in budding podcasting careers.

They share a common goal of prioritising time with family and friends in the new year, especially post their rugby careers.

Their advice to their fans and listeners is to continue building strong bonds with their loved ones.