He’s been named player of the 2009/2010 season, a fitting title for a man thats had alot to prove. Rugby World caught up with ‘Twinkle Toes’ to chat about cars going missing, living in the northern hemisphere and finishing his studies.
RUGBY WORLD: Who are the jokers in the Saracens squad?
SCHALK BRITS: Definitely Goodey (Alex Goode) and Saully (Andy Saull) to a certain extent, and then Glen (Jackson) had his humour.
RW: Can you tell us any practical jokes?
SB: Skusey (Richard Skuse) takes Vaseline and puts it on your car door handles. I’ve put sticky spray on people’s windows before. Cars get hidden after training too, so it takes you ages to find them. There’s a lot of space to hide cars!
RW: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen on the pitch?
SB: Juandre Kruger and Mouritz Botha having a go at each other in a game last season and both getting a yellow card without even throwing a punch! And Glen Jackson going off at every single ref. He’s going to get it dished out if he ever referees in the northern hemisphere!
RW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
SB: Intelligence, if that’s a superpower. It’s between that and speed, and wanting to solve a lot of problems like the economy, the oil spill… On a lighter note, teleporting would be nice. No flights, no waiting in queues. Cool!
RW: What’s the silliest thing you’ve bought?
SB: Scaletrix. Four years ago I bought a massive set for Ernst Joubert’s birthday. We only used it three times and it was a lot of money!
RW: If your house was on fire, what three things would you save?
SB: Photos, my dogs Zoe and Mila, and my fiancée Colinda, but the rest can burn!
RW: What are your nicknames?
SB: I was called Smiley in South Africa because I smile a lot. I’ve been called Twinkle Toes before, but I don’t like that one much!
Sights, Snow and Studies…
RW: Any phobias?
SB: I really dislike snakes. On the golf courses in South Africa there are a lot of snakes and if you go into the bush to look for your ball you just see the movement. It’s the most scary thing!
RW: What’s the best thing about living in the UK?
SB: The people are amazing. And you can travel anywhere from London. This year I’ve been to Rome, Portugal, Croatia, Paris…
RW: And the worst?
SB: London has the most amazing summer but the worst winter! Coming from Cape Town, it rains a lot, but this year here has been freezing. We played some games in the snow and it was frozen solid against Leeds – it’s been a whole new experience!
RW: Who’d you like to be stuck in a lift with?
SB: Any of my rugby mates; I could talk to them for hours. And I’ve never met Nelson Mandela but I’d like to be stuck in a lift with him!
RW: Any bad habits?
SB: I’m forgetful. I’ve lost a lot of shades, wallets and cables. Right now I can’t find my shaver’s cable!
RW: What couldn’t you live without?
SB: A toothbrush. And I like my music so my iPod – the only music I’m not really into is jazz. And my MacBook.
RW: Who’s your perfect woman?
SB: Colinda! She has to be independent, loving and intelligent.
RW: Any regrets?
SB: The Premiership final is a regret, and I wouldn’t have minded coming to England a bit earlier. But no, I live in the moment.
RW: What would you like to achieve outside of rugby?
SB: At Stellenbosch I studied accountancy and at the moment I’m doing CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). I wouldn’t mind finishing that.
RW: When was the last time you creased up?
SB: I’ve smiled a lot during this conversation, but otherwise on a sailing trip round Croatia with friends this summer. There are a lot of good memories from that trip, having a couple of beers and talking rubbish to the boys!
Scoring a cheeky try…
Learn more about Schalk’s teammates at Saracens…Like Rugby World? Subscribe to the magazine for the latest comprehensive content.