20th Jan, 2019

Iron-willed Olivier keen to show his metal

Worcester Editorial 4th Nov, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

TOUGH-tackling centre Wynand Olivier is not someone who shies away from a challenge.

In January 2014, the South Africa international sustained a triple fracture to his face when he smashed into one of his teammates during a training session.

But this shocking injury, which ruled him out for more than two months, has not altered the 32-year-old confrontational style.

And he has vowed to put his body on the line for newly-promoted Worcester Warriors as they bid to fight for survival in the Aviva Premiership.

“I fractured my cheekbone in two places and my eye socket,” he said. “Obviously it was very painful, but it’s rugby, it’s a collision sport and it is something I love.

“It’s a fair battle out there. Sometimes you get bumped around and sometimes you knock people around, which is fun.

“After playing Super Rugby, French Top 14 and in Japan, it is a little bit different here. Obviously the weather changes quite a bit towards the winter, so it gets to be a little bit more physical where in Japan it was very quick.

“The Premiership is a big competition, so it is something massive to say you have done that and to be part of a club like Worcester, which is building something special.”

Olivier said the club had exceeded his expectations and described it was one of the most professional teams he had been involved in.

The arrival of Olivier just before the start of the season was a big boost for director of rugby Dean Ryan who has assembled a young squad.

And having been part of South Africa’s World Cup-winning squad in 2007, Olivier said he was hoping to use his experience to Warriors’ advantage.

“Being here is a massive challenge for myself as I want to bring out the best in the youngsters,” he said.

“Having had a fair bit of experience and been around the block, I want to teach the younger players whatever I have learnt in certain situations on and off the field and learnt from all the guys I have played with, like Victor Matfield and John Smit who was a phenomenal captain.

“When you are young, you want to play, get on with it and score tries, but it doesn’t always work that way.

“Sometimes just having a couple of level headed guys in between, saying listen boys, ‘let’s cool down, let’s do this and go again’ and I think there is a good balance here.”

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