Springbok international prop Jannie du Plessis has bolstered his strength for rugby through farming.
And he said that being on the land draws him closer to God.
Du Plessis, whose brother Bismarck is also a Springbok international, now plies his trade with Golden Lions in Super Rugby, but his off-field farming and faith have become the bedrock of his life.
He said: “Life on the farm was very isolated. I remember the cold winters and moderate summers. Farm life has its own charm.
“Farming brings you closer to the Lord and faith is important,” says Du Plessis. “If it does not rain for months, you can do nothing but pray.
“Even if you are the best farmer in the world, nothing will grow. That is why I believe farming is a calling. It’s in my DNA.” As the 37-year-old begins to consider life after professional sport, there is plenty more to come with his farm and faith.
He added: “I know farming comes with many challenges, from safety to the role nature plays. But one day I would like to be proud of my cattle and farming enterprise. I would like to show it to people, especially those that do not know much about agriculture.
“But deep in my heart I have always been a farm and Jesus kind of boy.
“I cannot wait to start farming full-time after my rugby career.”