Five things you didn't know about Mike Willemse
Having joined the club from Southern Kings in the summer of 2019, Mike Willemse quickly set about establishing himself as a key man in Richard Cockerill's squad. Here are five things you didn't know about the South African hooker.
He was a late bloomer to rugby
"I didn’t play rugby in my junior school days. I went to a small school in the came that didn’t provide rugby as a sport. I played soccer and hockey in the winter months and swam in the summer.
"When I got to high school, I tried my hand at waterpolo and ended up making the provincial squads, that’s what ultimately helped my rugby career kick on."
Politics in his blood
"I come from a pretty politically active background with my late grandfather as well as father both having respected political involvement back in SA.
Seeing the admin it comes with, I can confidently say I will be steering clear of that path post rugby!"
A keen fisherman
"I’m an avid fisherman, it’s my go-to getaway activity. The little coastal town my family lives in back home provides the perfect angling experience and I’d try wet a line at any chance possible. I find it a perfect way to refresh the mind!
He's a student outside of rugby
Studies are important to me. After leaving school I, like Groomy, was a full time student studying a BSc in Quantity Surveying and Construction management.
"Rugby took over in my final year and with it being a very practical degree, I still have a few subjects to complete in getting my degree. I have also just enrolled in a teaching degree which I plan on finishing before I hang my boots up."
Cheers to a post-rugby career
"Ive always had a life goal to own a restaurant/bar in my hometown, Knysna. A spot to entertain friends and family in what I’d say is the best place on earth!"