Quick tap with Willie Engelbrecht

PUBLISHED: June 26, 2024

DHL Stormers forward Willie Engelbrecht chats about playing club rugby with his late father, how he finds it living in Cape Town and his golf rivalry with teammate Neethling Fouché.

You are quite a keen golfer. What are some of your favourite courses to play, and do you have a bit of a rivalry going with any of your DHL Stormers teammates?
Yes, I love golf. I wanted to go pro when I was younger but rugby took over my body! My favourite course has to be Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate. We play there a lot and every time it’s just as beautiful as the first. I do have a rivalry with Neethling Fouché. It’s been going for a few years now.

You have been in Cape Town for a couple of years now, after moving from Nelspruit. Do you prefer living near the coast or closer to the bush?
I love Nelspruit and the bush and my family is all there, but I also love the ocean. It would’ve been the perfect scenario if I was in the bush and walked over a mountain and the ocean was there.

What is your earliest rugby memory?
The first memory that always pops up into my mind is when I was 16 and played my first 1st XV game with my dad at the Tuine-Grizzlies Rugby Club in Pretoria.

You captained the Airlink Pumas to their first Carling Currie Cup title in 2022, where does that rank in your achievements?
It has to be one of the top achievements of my rugby career. That whole year I couldn’t have planned anything better. Everything just went the right way for my last year at the Airlink Pumas.

Do you have an idea of what you would like to do after rugby?
Yes, I know my plans after rugby. I’m studying to go into the mining industry so that’s my main focus after rugby. I would like to do some coaching as well.

As someone with a passion for the physical side of the game, what gives you that drive to make those big tackles and carries?
I go onto the field as if it’s the last time I will play a rugby match, so I give my whole body to the team and game. I also like measuring my strength against my opponent’s strengths.