Friday, July 16, 2010

The Ross Skeate Diary - A Rugby decision

The Ross Skeate Diary - A Rugby decision

Since we last caught up with Ross, he's gone South, leaving Toulon to take up the challenge with the Sharks in Durban, back in South Africa where it all began. Still young enough to have a Test career, Ross gave us his thoughts on the big move.

How advantageous is the concept of moving through various countries while being employed to play the game one loves? Arriving into a new team set-up surrounded by immediate friends, bound by the mutual understanding of being engaged in the same pursuit of rugby glory, while at the same time discovering new adventures and people around every corner?

Yeah, as opening gambits go I didnt think it was that great either.

Sure moving from country to country may provide a few difficulties for anyone, and a very special set of trials and challenges for any rugby player, but like my very wise mom says; "Change is always a good thing." Shes bloody right of course!

I cannot tell you or even begin to explain the weight and value of the education that rugby has already gifted me. Many times I have marvelled at how similar the lessons learnt through rugby imitate the life lessons we learn through um, life. This trip to and from the land of Baguettes and Frog Legs has opened my eyes even further to a new experience that in truth I never knew I could have previously enjoyed. That old nut about 'comfort zones and all that.'

Going to Frenchland I knew that the challenge was going to be a humbling and awesome one but as to what depths I can only see through the clear goggles of hindsight. No, not its closely related cousin the 'Beer Goggle', which results in a completely different experience altogether.

Deciding to return to South Africa wasnt an easy decision, and although I knew that I was returning a more complete, capable rugby player with my best years still ahead of me, I knew the challenges involved and what choosing this next path in my career meant.

It is a decision though unquestionably that I am so very happy to have made. Of course just how happy only time and circumstance shall tell, but I've got a very good feeling about this one! Especially as moving to Durban has granted me the time and opportunity to play within a supremely professional set-up that will only continue my education as a rugby player and my development in the same vein.

I was asked a few times why did I not want to return to Cape Town and of course the idea did appeal, but I know enough now to know that Durban is definitely the best place for my playing career at this point which is of paramount importance to me now.

I still have so many good memories at Western Province and I shall always treasure them, much like the friendships and memories that I shall always carry with me from Toulon. But I need to be here, now.

I cant tell you how excited I am to get rolling although all these youngsters are seriously gonna keep me on my toes. After all 27 years old is positively middle-aged in the Southern Hemisphere. I think I need to buy a red Ferrari to help with my mid-life crisis!

So onwards and upwards then as I dash headlong into this year's Currie Cup competition, one that I have come to know and love so well. But this time I'll be running out as a Sharkie!

All the best, and keep in touch with me and with RugbyDump.


Follow Ross Skeate's progress as he starts his new career with the Sharks, traveling the country and finding his feet in beautiful Durban. Ross will post photos, blog posts, match reports, and more on his site, so make sure you visit regularly and follow him on Twitter @RossSkeate .

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