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Aussie-born Stormers recruit wants to be a Bok

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Aussie-born Stormers recruit wants to be a Bok

by Adnaan Mohamed
24 Oct 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

The 20-year-old Australian-born utility back has signed a contract with the Stormers for their campaign in the Super 14 competition in 2008.

Luke Titus, whose parents, Clement and Audrey, emigrated to Australia from South Africa in 1981, is one of Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus's latest signings.

Titus played for the Cronulla Sharks u/20 rugby league side in Sydney.

"Yes, I am extremely excited about the opportunity and I will definitely grab it with both hands. I am looking forward to playing for the Stormers, but my ultimate dream is to play in the green and gold of the Springboks and not for the Wallabies," Titus said from his parents' home in Sydney, Australia, on Sunday.

His parents, who are originally from Cape Town, reluctantly emigrated to secure a better life for their family in Australia.

"We decided to leave South Africa, because of the political situation in the country at the time and also because we wanted to give our children a fair chance in life." says Audrey.

She says her father, Wally Coleridge, was one of the founding members of the old Excelsior Rugby Club in Kalk Bay. Coleridge captained Excelsior in the City and Suburban Rugby Union which was based at the City Park Sportsfield in Athlone.

Excelsior and Kalk Bay Marines from the old Western Province Rugby Union at Green Point later merged under the name of Peninsula Rugby Club, which is still active in the unified WP Rugby Union.

"My dad was an outstanding player. Sadly, his dream to play for Western Province and the Springboks was dashed by apartheid," says Audrey.

"It is ironic that Luke, who was born in Australia, will now get the opportunity to realise my father's dream to run on to the hallowed Newlands turf for the Stormers," says the proud mother.

Titus's coach at the Sharks, Mitch Healy, says he is "a promising player with a tremendous work ethic".

"He is a strong defender who is also quick off the mark. He is quite versatile and has the ability to play at fullback, wing or centre. He works very hard at his game and I am positive that he will be a great asset to the Stormers," says Healy of Titus, who is 1,80 m tall and weighs 90 kg.

Titus, however, feels his best position is outside centre. He would love to team up with a player of the calibre of the Springbok centre Jean de Villiers in the midfield. "Jean is one of the players that I admire and it will be great to be able to play on his outside. It is a pity that he was injured during the World Cup tournament.

"The other centres that I admire are Gavin Henson from Wales and Matt Giteau from the Wallabies," says Titus.

The new Stormers recruit said he followed the Springboks' progress to World Cup glory closely.

"I woke up at 4:00 Australian time to watch the final and I think it was a magnificent victory for South Africa. I am very excited that the Boks have won the World Cup. It makes me more determined to do well with the Stormers after I arrive in Cape Town.

"It's quite funny that here in Australia, most of the newspapers are saying it is Eddie Jones' Springboks because of the former Wallaby coach's involvement with the Springboks in their successful World Cup campaign. I think the Aussie press is quite offside to praise Jones and not Jake White," says Titus.

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