The 24-year-old lock succeeds Jacques van Zyl, who will remain a key senior player this year – especially as the anchor of the pack from hooker.
During an interview with varsitycup.co.za, Swanepoel revealed his feelings about being appointed captain for the unique 2021 tournament.
“Due to the current circumstances in the world and the cancellation of the Varsity Cup last year it has been a difficult but exciting challenge to take over as UWC captain,” Swanepoel revealed. “It’s an honour and a privilege that I intend to embrace.”
The Somerset West-born Swanepoel, who featured in four of UWC’s five matches in 2020 (three as the run-on Number 4), explained what type of leader he considered himself to be.
”I’m a vocal captain who focuses on mindful communication with my teammates and coaches. The relationship I have with my teammates is of great importance to me. As captain, I believe it’s my responsibility to lead by example, on and off the field, and to listen to my teammates, as we can only succeed when our mindsets are right.”
As with all the captains in this year’s tournament, which will take place exclusively in Tshwane across three bio-secure ‘bubbles’, Swanepoel’s credentials will be tested – even more so considering UWC had a difficult 2020 campaign and also have a new head coach in Paul Treu. That said, the fourth year Education student isn’t scared of some positive fighting talk.
“I want us to show everyone the exciting brand and potential of UWC rugby. Going in as underdogs, it’s a priority for us to showcase what we have trained so hard for and to show what the game means to us.”
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