21 Feb People of Jozi – Rudy Paige
Rudy Paige is a South African rugby union player for the Free State XV in the Rugby Challenge. He has played for the Lions, The Bulls and The Cheetah’s and usually plays in the position of scrum-half.
He was born and raised in Heidelberg, Western Cape, and later moved to Gauteng where he attended Bastion High School and later went on to study at the University of Johannesburg – we caught up with Rudy to find out more..
Rudy, have you played rugby all your life? Take us through that, from school boy to professional player?
I started playing rugby in Primary School. In Grade 12 I relocated to Johannesburg to follow my dreams of becoming a rugby player and in this year I played SA School rugby. After high school I was contracted by the Lions and also played Varsity Cup for UJ.
In 2012 I moved to the Blue Bulls where I played Currie Cup and also started my Super Rugby career. Currently I am at the Cheetahs where I am playing Pro14. I also played for the Springboks from 2015-2017.
You played for the Blue Bulls for about 6 years – what was that like in terms of growth and your career.
It was definitely great for my rugby, I was selected for the Springboks while I was playing at the Bulls, which will always be a career highlight for me. Playing for your country is the greatest honour. It was great playing with some of the worlds best players as I started my Super Rugby and Springbok career there, and the whole Blue Bulls spirit is just so enjoyable.
What has been the most challenging thing for you thus far in your career.
2018 was a tough year both for my career and for me personally. It started out with an injury and then saw me having to move unions, which ultimately meant moving cities too. At that stage my family was still staying in Johannesburg and I was travelling back and forth from Bloem to JHB to visit.
How do you stay in shape? Do you just play rugby, or do you have other workouts and diets etc?
I gym on my off days and I have regular fitness routines that I follow. On weekends I also try go to the gym just to ensure I stay in shape. On the diet side of things, I wish I could follow a strict diet but I am just not disciplined enough. Lol.
What advice would you give to younger players that dream of doing what you do?
To always work hard, no matter who or what you are. There are no short cuts to the top. It takes many hours of hard work and dedication.
If you hadn’t have been a rugby player, what do you think you would be doing instead?
I’ll definitely run my own gym. I enjoy fitness and working out and encouraging others to do the same.
Who is your biggest role model?
Fast Fun Facts…
My shoe size is… Size 8
My favourite place to go on holiday is… Definitely Stillbaai with my family.
My favourite cheat food/meal is… Any Chocolate, all my friends and family know that’s my weakness.
One thing that most people don’t know about me is… I wake up very grumpy, don’t call me before 10am.
What makes me nervous is… I still get nervous before every game I play. It must be the excitement of running on the field knowing I am about to play the game I love.
My favourite tech gadget right now is… I am not a very big tech guy, more of fitness gadget guy. I love my JBL Endurance earphones for working out, but at the moment I am obsessed with my Hypervolt.