Promising player itching to get back on rugby field

CPUT’s Lucien Phillips.

Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) Varsity Shield hooker, Lucien Phillips, 22, can’t wait for the new season to start next year.

The talented young forward was a part of the team that helped CPUT bag their maiden Varsity Shield Cup last year.

Phillips, an accounting student, says playing for CPUT in the Shield, representing the institution at University Sports South Africa (USSA) level and continuing his degree, has been a blessing.

Injuries have plagued the young player’s career over the years, however, he is certain he will regain his Western Province colours which he first earned in the under-12 level in 2009.

“The vision was always to play provincial and then play for the Springboks but now it’s more about making sure I can take my varsity team further and put them on the map and try and get into a provincial team,” he said.

Phillips says he enjoys the teamwork, commitment and work ethic needed to play rugby.

“People only see how the boys play but what happens behind the scenes, the hours and hours of fitness to get to that point, that’s what inspired me to play the sport and to see a smile on a child’s face,” he said.

“I started playing rugby for my primary school at 8. My brother actually told me not to play rugby because at the time I was just cricket mad,” he said.

During the lockdown, Phillips, who lives in Cravenby, says he trained between four to six days a week, focusing on body conditioning, including lifting weights.

“Depending on what’s happening in the week I will try to do double sessions on Monday and Wednesday. I will do normal gym training on Thursdays and then running on Friday and Saturday. I’m off on Sunday,” he said.

Phillips says his difficult background does not deter him from working towards his dreams, in fact, it’s an opportunity to become a role-model in his community.

“Your environment or the place where you grew up should not determine who you become.

“There are opportunities for youngsters who come from the area that I come from. Some fall into gangsterism and things like that and that’s not the way to go. They should grab opportunities and make sure they make a success out of it,” said Phillips.