Harbour flanker Eben
Joubert is bringing a tough and uncompromising approach to
Dunedin club rugby this winter.
Joubert (24), a teacher of mathematics and science, has come
to Dunedin from South Africa to improve his rugby and become
a professional rugby player.
He comes to Dunedin with an impressive pedigree.
He played premier club rugby for the University of Pretoria
for seven years, represented the Blue Bulls in the Vodacom
Cup last year and played for the Blue Bulls and Sharks in
"I've heard of Otago rugby and have so much respect for it,"
"The House of Pain and Otago rugby is legendary in South
Africa. It's an honour for me to be here. I want to learn as
much as I can."
The Dunedin influence started at the Malaysian tens last year
when he was in a team coached by former Otago All Blacks
Duncan Robertson and Jeff Matheson.
"We suggested to Otago selector Bruce Carvell that he
[Joubert] should be invited to play rugby in Dunedin,"
"He's a superb player and good enough to play for Otago,
otherwise we wouldn't have brought him here. Otago needs
tough and uncompromising players like Eben."
Joubert (24) displayed the strong physical approach at
flanker when Harbour beat Pirates 18-14 in a cliff-hanger at
Hancock Park last Saturday.
"It was rugged physical rugby. Just like we play in South
Africa. I loved it," Joubert said.
Joubert has found the standard of club rugby in Dunedin
similar to that in the Carlton Cup competition in Pretoria
He is working as a house master at the Otago Boys High School
hostel, but his goal is to become a professional rugby
"I would have loved to get a contract in South Africa but the
ball didn't roll for me," he said.
He is short of stature and this counted against him in South
African rugby. He has played No 6 for Harbour but was a
hooker in the Malaysian tens tournament.
"I'll play anywhere," he said.
"My aim is to get into the Otago Air New Zealand Cup squad
and then play Super 14 rugby."
But his immediate focus is to help Harbour reach the top six,
make the final and win the championship this year.
He admires short flankers like himself - internationals Neil
Back (England) and Corne Krige (South Africa) are his
favourites, but he is also a fan of All Black captain Richie
His father Francois Joubert, a minister in the Dutch Reformed
Church, is his biggest supporter.
"He was never too hard and never too lax on me," Joubert
said. "He just gave me awesome support.