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Player Profile – Luann Olivier (Garsfontein)

By Franco Oberholzer , in Rugby | Featured Rugby | News , at 2024-05-13 Tags: , ,

 

LUANN OLIVIER, captain and flanker of Hoërskool Garsfontein, is one of the hottest prospects at schoolboy level. PHOTO: Frans Lombard/Actionpix

Quite a few pundits and rugby websites have speculated on how the Springboks side could look for the World Cup of 2027 as the side will attempt to secure a third successive title.

The one thing that all of the pundits and websites forgot and didn’t get right is the fact that some members of the Springbok side of 2027 could still be in school this year. It is where Canan Moodie (Boland Landbou) found himself in matric in 2019 when Rassie Erasmus’ troops bagged their first title and South Africa’s third in Japan.

So it is not far-fetched that one or two Springboks, who will attempt to retain the title in 2027, could still be completing their school career in 2024.

The Hoërskool Garsfontein’s captain, Luann Olivier, is an ambitious rugby player with one of his future goals that outshines the rest. And that would be to run out for the Springboks at the next Rugby World Cup.

Looking towards the future, Olivier has set his sights on earning a place with the Blitzboks, South Africa’s national sevens side. He’s also set to link up with the Sharks.

Olivier is a versatile player who has represented his school’s First XV as a flanker as well as in the midfield. His coaches, Johan du Plessis and Sylvester Booysen, even trusted him enough to play in the midfield against last year’s SA Schools inside centre, Janco Purchase, in their defeat of 31-33 against Affies. He came out of this battle with his reputation intact.

It hasn’t been an easy season thus far for Garsfontein as they have suffered six successive defeats thus far. The last one against Waterkloof (36-47) in the SDC Noordvaal Cup would’ve probably been the hardest to process.

Olivier’s performances thus far have been one of the highlights of Garsies’ season. He is quick for a flanker and has the ability to take defensive lines apart when put in possession. The flanker is also quick to affect a turnover at the breakdown if the opportunity arises.

Born and bred in Pretoria, Olivier started his love affair with rugby at the tender age of three years old. Since then, he’s never looked back and his achievements in the game have gone from strength to strength.

In 2017, he made a breakthrough, representing the Blue Bulls for the first time at the u12 inter-provincial week. A year later, he went one better, earning a call-up to the prestigious Blue Bulls u13 Craven Week side.

Then, in 2020, Olivier opted to sharpen his skills at one of Pretoria’s most prolific rugby schools of the past decade, Hoërskool Garsfontein. That same year, he ran out for Garsies’ u14 A side.

However, it was in 2022 that the fiery openside flank really made a name for himself. That year, he was selected for the Blue Bulls’ Grant Khomo Week team.

The following year, he continued to impress and earned the number six jumper in the Blue Bulls’ side, which made the Craven Week main match. He was also included in the South Africa u18 sevens side, which won bronze at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago.

When asked about his biggest role models, Olivier answered without hesitation: “Most definitely, my father, Robert. He’s been my biggest supporter and has kept on pushing me to become better in what I do,” said Olivier.

Among his favourite memories as a Garsfontein rugby player are winning the SDC Noordvaal Cup at home last year, against EG Jansen, and walking into the Bere-kuil for the first time.

“New Zealand’s flank, Ardie Savea, is another I look up to. Not only is the way he plays a massive example, but his leadership abilities are also something to look up to.”

“Coaches Johan du Plessis and WJ Strydom have been immense in my development as a rugby player, and I owe a lot of what I’ve achieved over the last couple of years, to them,” said Olivier.

Strydom is a former Blitzbok under which Olivier would’ve learned

He’s ambitious, but he’s got the drive to succeed. Look out for the name, Luann Olivier. It might become quite familiar over the next four years.

Franco Oberholzer
error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.