Quick tap with Ruben van Heerden

PUBLISHED: March 19, 2024

DHL Stormers lock Ruben van Heerden spoke to us about settling in Cape Town, who does the most housework in his home and taking Forward Coach Rito Hlungwani’s job one day.

You have been with the DHL Stormers for just over a year now. How have you enjoyed living in Cape Town?

“I have really enjoyed staying in Cape Town, I think it is such a beautiful part of our country and the people have been very welcoming as well. I never thought I would actually live here, sometimes I pinch myself with the realisation that I am staying here and playing for the DHL Stormers.

Who are some of your friends in the squad and what do you get up to away from the pitch?

“I think I get along with everyone in the squad. When we go on tour I am roommates with Ben-Jason Dixon, so we get along well, but I get on well with most guys to be quite honest. Honestly rugby takes so much of your time, energy and thoughts, but if I do ever get some down-time I just like exploring Cape Town with my wife. The city has so much to offer, so I like going around and seeing new places and just spending quality time with the family.

As the main line-out caller, how have you enjoyed working with Forwards Coach Rito Hlungwani?

“I have really enjoyed working with Rito, I have learned quite a lot from him in a really short space of time. Rito gives you quite a lot of freedom, but he also challenges you in a good way. He allows you to do what you want to do and share your thoughts, but he will also poke holes in your plans wherever it is needed. He is a good man, he can be quite intense at times but that is exactly what you need as the DHL Stormers Forwards Coach. I have got nothing but admiration for coach Rito and have really enjoyed working with him. I’m looking forward to the journey that lies ahead, learning more and more from him.

What would you say has been the highlight of your time with the DHL Stormers so far?

“There have actually been so many highlights already in the season and a half that I have been here. I hate saying it but I think my biggest highlight is also my biggest lowlight. I would have to say it is last season’s Vodacom URC Final. As gutting and disappointing as it was, it was such a great occasion, such a big spectacle. It was so great to see the people of Cape Town come out to support us like that. It was also good to see the support we had after such a disappointing loss as well, that really means a lot to players, not only the support when we win but the support when we lose as well.

Have you and your wife enjoyed setting up a home in Cape Town? Who would you say does most of the housework?

“We have really enjoyed setting up a home in Cape Town and I think we have really settled in nicely now. When we first came here we stayed in the northern suburbs for a couple of months and then we moved into town to see what that was like. We took our time finding the right place and I believe we have done that, we have found a nice home and we are both very happy. My wife would probably say she does most of the housework, but I think it is split up well 50/50. We have got a good working relationship, I always try and help out where I can and so does she, so I think we have got a good thing going here.

Which of your teammates can you see going into coaching once their playing careers come to an end? Is this something you are interested in or have you got different plans for life after rugby?

“I think there might be a few guys who end up going into coaching. I think the obvious one would be Brok (Harris), who would definitely do well as a scrum coach. Someone like Neethling Fouche might also consider doing something like that. Then someone like Manie (Libbok) might also get involved in coaching. As for myself, it is definitely something I am interested in. I always make the joke with coach Rito that one day I am going to take his job. I would love to have a role like his coaching the forwards and would be very happy to do that. I always love schoolboy rugby as well, so any form of coaching I’d definitely consider.