It is Saturday 13 June 1998. And it is a day that Stefan Terblanche will probably not forget.
The former rugby player then made his Springbok debut in Bloemfontein against Ireland and ran the visitors to pieces to score four tries. Barely a year later, he made the Italians long for spaghetti and pizza with his five tries in the Boks’ 101-0 victory at Kingspark.
The former full-back ended up scoring 19 tries in his 37 international tests to boast a better strike rate than Jaque Fourie and Breyton Paulse.
And then one does not even talk about his spectacular performances with the Sharks and the Ospreys.
Now, at the age of 48, Terblanche is clear proof that fitness and a healthy lifestyle are so much more than just an 80-minute rugby match, or a successful sports career.
He recently entered Men’s Health adorned while he also regularly shares advice and tips on Instagram (StefanT15).
In fact, it seems that he can still effortlessly lecture a much younger defender on the way to the goal line.
“Fitness, and especially resistance training with weights, is extremely important as you get older – but that doesn’t mean we have to train like bodybuilders and carry their muscle mass. It has been proven countless times that resistance training has many benefits.
“Your body starts to break down muscle mass from the age of 30 and we have to work hard to combat this,” he told RNews.
So is he fitter now than in his playing days?
“No. But I am very happy with my fitness levels and how my body feels after rugby and at 48 years of age. I am very blessed with the fact that I suffered few injuries and farts in my playing days; I can now train without any pain and that is a big plus.”
Terblanche believes that healthy balance is the key to success.
“I enjoy exercise and I try to eat right and get enough rest to the best of my ability. But at the same time I also enjoy life. My wife (Jacqui) and three children (Tia, Matt and Cai) enjoy good food and hanging out together. My rule is to show 80% discipline and the remaining 20% to relax.”
He says that he had to work hard in his rugby career to stay competitive against other players and that his love for training and being healthy started there.
Still, he doesn’t miss his rugby days.
“I was very lucky to play for a long time (he retired at the age of 37) and I enjoyed every single moment, but I am satisfied. My playing days were fantastic, but that was enough.”
He has been working with SANZAAR, the Six Nations and World Rugby for the past eight years where he serves on various disciplinary committees. He will again play a similar role during the upcoming World Cup.
“As a former player, I understand a little better what happens on the field and I can thus defend the player better and make his case stronger. World Rugby these days is very strict with head contact and the players find it difficult not to make contact on the field of play.”
The disciplinary stage of a red card offender will be held the day after the World Cup match and the player concerned will be able to present his case.
Does he think the Springboks stand a chance of successfully defending their title?
“Undoubtedly,” was his immediate reply.
“This is one of our best teams in years and we are building good momentum. The group of players and coaches is almost the same as in 2019 and their experience will be of great value in France.”
- Top try scorers in the Springbok jersey: Bryan Habana (67 tries in 124 tests), Joost van der Westhuizen (38 tries in 89 tests), Jaque Fourie (32 tries in 72 tests), Jean de Villiers (27 tries in 109 tests ), Breyton Paulse (26 tries in 64 tests), Percy Montgomery (25 tries in 102 tests), JP Pietersen (24 tries in 70 tests), Makazole Mapimpi (22 tries in 36 tests), Pieter Rossouw (21 tries in 43 tests ), James Small (20 tries in 47 tests), Danie Gerber (19 tries in 24 tests) and Stefan Terblanche (19 tries in 37 tests).