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After Wasps nightmare, ‘ambitious’ Nizaam Carr wants to repay Bulls’ faith with URC trophy

After Wasps nightmare, ‘ambitious’ Nizaam Carr wants to repay Bulls’ faith with URC trophy

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Cape Town — Nizaam Carr rocked up at a Bulls press conference this week in a training vest and shorts.

That ensured that everybody watching could see his ripped muscles, indicating that he is in great shape ahead of his second stint at the Pretoria franchise — despite him missing a tasty gatsby in Cape Town.

That is no mean feat for the 31-year-old loose forward, as he last played for Wasps about a month ago.

Of course, he had endured a traumatic time since, as the Coventry club went into administration and closed up shop, which meant that he was without a job for the first time in his professional rugby career that started at Western Province in Cape Town in 2011.

That must have been a shock to the system, which is why he was delighted to head back to Loftus Versfeld and work with Jake White.

“It’s been a really challenging time for me and the family, obviously not knowing what’s happening and where we are going with our career, going forward. So, it’s been tough. The smaller stuff like moving house, rentals and stuff like that, so it’s a lot of admin that we also needed to sort out,” Carr said this week.

“But I’m happy I found work here with Jake at the Blue Bulls. I’m really happy about that. It’s unfortunate that a lot of players at Wasps … Out of 45-50 players, just over 12 boys have found work again. Just yesterday, a club signed Dan Robson to play in the French Top 14.

“So, it’s been a really tough time for all of us, but the nice thing is that we are still staying in contact and sending each other messages, just to show that we are there in some sort of way.”

But that doesn’t mean Carr is just glad to be working again. He states that he still feels like a young man, even though the Wasps fallout meant that “I got a lot of grey hairs — it’s either gone or grey!”

The five-Test Springbok hasn’t given up on the national team either, and he draws inspiration from former Stormers teammate Deon Fourie’s call-up at the age of 36.

But first up it’s about winning more trophies for the Bulls, and his experience of playing in Europe will provide great insight into what’s required in the Champions Cup as well.

The Bulls resume their United Rugby Championship campaign against the Ospreys at Loftus next week Saturday (3pm kick-off), and then they face Cardiff the following week before making their Champions Cup debut against Lyon in Pretoria on December 10.

“The last time I left here, we had won the Super Rugby Unlocked, and the Currie Cup just after I left. So, leaving the team in that state was a real positive for me. It’s unfortunate that we lost to the Stormers in the URC final last season,” Carr said.

“But every team is pushing for silverware, and it’s no different here for us. We are working really hard every day, and even though I just joined last week, a lot has changed since coming back — but the core values have stuck, like being there for each other, having good character and carrying yourself with a lot of humility.

“I see myself, like anyone else in the team, helping the Bulls bring the URC trophy to Pretoria. They have really made me feel welcome, and if there is anything I need to work on, they are always there for you, to help you to become a better player.

“We are here to win, and we are facing Lyon and Exeter in the Champions Cup. Those are tough rivals. And Arno Botha is also at Lyon — I will try to get some stuff off Arno Botha, as we are quite good mates!

“Exeter are extremely tough in England — going there with Wasps, we only won one out of five games. But it’s fresh for us as it’s a new competition.

“I want to test myself against the best, and Ireland are No 1 in the world internationally, and France are real contenders for the World Cup. I still feel very young at heart … I have a lot of ambition.”


IOL Sport

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