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Friday, July 09, 2010

Percy Montgomery interview, tribute, and classic try from 1997

South Africa's highest ever points scorer, Percy Montgomery retired in 2008 after having held both Tri Nations and World Cup titles, as well as enjoying careers with Western Province, Newport, and Perpignan. I was able to catch up with Monty ahead of the this years Tri Nations.

What exactly are you up to these days?
Im the kicking coach with Boks and am loving being back in the mix. Am also bringing out a range of merchandise and a dvd... so watch this space.

Is it a permanent position, and what has it been like working with Morne Steyn?
Ja until the World Cup in NZ. Its a pleasure being part of the Boks. Morne has worked hard to get to his level. Hes a great chap. My job is to keep them sharp

What do you normally say to the players when you run on as waterboy?
Usually its "Are you thirsty?". We do get messages from the coaches to pass on, but if I spot something, I sometimes pass it on.

Your career was a bit of a rollercoaster ride, going from a situation where you were booed at Loftus, to being the highest ever points scorer for SA and a World Cup winner. Any regrets?
Definitely no regrets. Life is a challenge on and off the field.

Speaking of Loftus, does the try you scored against Australia in 1997 rank as one of your all time favourites?
Spot on!!

Did Springbok fullback Andre Joubert have a significant influence on your development, despite you playing centre at the time?
He was indeed a legend and a good man. I just listened and was fortunate to have had a lot of seniors around to learn from.

In your early days you started out as a 78kg centre, something that All Black Frank Bunce famously commented on. How challenging was it to transform yourself into a player with far greater muscle mass and explosive power?
Definitely not 78kg, I was 84/85kg. It was seriously hard work.

Talk us through the incident in the 2007 World Cup with Toby Flood pushing you over the advertising boards. What were your feelings at the time and did you expect him to get sent from the field?
Toby should have had a yellow card as I think refs should just be fair. Another incident was during the Super 14 final Sharks v Stormers , Bryan should have got a card.

How did you find your overseas stints at Newport and Perpignan respectively?
Both places were very different in lifestyles but the people in both were really accommodating and amazingly friendly.

When you were called back to South Africa by Jake White you had a much improved kicking technique and rate of success. What do you attribute that to?
It was just practice, practice, practice.

Where is your favourite place to visit, both within rugby and just for holiday?

Did you do much surfing when you lived in Durban, and how does it compare to the icy waters in the Cape?
I surfed all the time in Durbs. In Cape Town I wear a thick wetsuit and have to watch out for great whites.

You were once into graphic design. Is it still a passion of yours?
Yes but I hardly ever have time these days.

How long did it take for your teammates do stop ribbing you over that Full Monty TV advert you did a while back?
Ha Ha! They still do.

Who, in your opinion, is the best fullback in world rugby at the moment?
Gio Aplon, Frans Steyn and Mils Muliaina

What are your predictions for the 2011 World Cup?
The Boks of course!!!

What do you think makes John Smit such a great captain and leader?
His character!!! Hes Barney the friendly dinosaur.

Tell us a bit about your website please?
Its not just about my career, its a way of keeping in touch with the fans and giving them a glimpse of my life behind the scenes as well. I try and update it as often as possible by adding new pics and stuff about what Im up to, but am normally so busy its hard to keep up. And yes it is me answering the questions. I like hearing what the public have to say.

Have you spent time on Rugbydump before?
Not much before now but I have seen some wicked clips, so I will visit it more often.


Check out this tribute video that has a bonus try on the end - the one he scored against the Wallabies in 1997 at Loftus Versfeld. You can also find out more about Percy below.

As Percy mentioned, he has a website where he interacts with fans, posts blog entries, and has a whole bunch of photos from past and present. You can also read more about him and check up on some of the stats from his career.
Take a look at 

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