Despite being born and bred in the Western Cape, Stravino Jacobs has managed to convert his whole family into Bulls fans after just a few games for the Pretoria side.
CAPE TOWN – Despite being born and bred in the Western Cape, Stravino Jacobs has managed to convert his whole family into Bulls fans after just a few games for the Pretoria side.
The 21-year-old, who attended Paarl Gymnasium, was asked to choose between the Stormers and moving to the capital city to play at Loftus.
By then, he had already played junior rugby for Western Province and made the SA Schools side. But instead of staying at Province, Jacobs shifted to their traditional rivals, and his decision has paid off.
“My family, we were all Stormers. I was at Paarl Gym, and coach Pieter’s (Rossouw) brother, coach Chris, is at the Bulls and he asked me to make a choice between the Bulls and the Stormers,” Jacobs said yesterday ahead of Saturday’s Rainbow Cup SA clash against the Stormers at Cape Town Stadium (6.15pm kickoff).
“So I told him I would rather choose to play at the Bulls, because most of the guys at the Stormers disappear quickly – they will play, but then they don’t get another opportunity.”
Having been the leading try-scorer in the national Under-21 championship last year – which the Bulls won – Jacobs was called up to the senior squad by coach Jake White, and hasn’t looked back.
His 1.80m, 95kg frame was used to good effect last season by the Bulls, who won the Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup titles.
He is in the mould of legendary Blues and Samoan wing Va’aiga Tuigamala, who was a powerful presence with ball-in-hand.
“The senior team needed a wing, and I was told to join them. I was just going to see how they train, but then we played a game and coach Jake told me to play my normal game. For me, I was still a junior and didn’t have the experience, compared to the senior guys,” Jacobs said.
“So I just played a normal game, and yes, I think I impressed him a bit. I won’t say I’m a big man (in the team)! Coach Jake always backs the junior guys, and always gives chances to the guys. But I didn’t actually expect it, but I got the opportunity to play with the guys and I used it.”
Jacobs was almost again on the score-sheet in last week’s 22-9 win over the Lions, although his touchdown was ruled out because of obstruction.
He will look to cross the whitewash once more in his “home” province, and may perhaps have a point to prove against the Stormers.
“I will see what happens. I have to see what he (Stormers right wing Edwill van der Merwe) brings to the table before I can do anything. He is an older player and has more confidence than me,” Jacobs said.
“It’s the first time that I will play against them, because the last time we played against them, I was injured as I had a broken finger.
“My mother-them have now all turned to the Bulls!”