Former 1995 Rugby World Cup winning Springbok lock, Mark Andrews talks about a special memory from that historic final with the All Blacks and two other standout moments during his Rugby career, one of which was beating a rival school as a student and the other winning the Currie Cup with his club, the Sharks. Mark also received junior national colours in Water Polo while at school and reveals why he stuck to Rugby.
Mark says that his greatest achievement as a Rugby player was being able to adapt his game, as he played under seven different coaches during his nine years with the South African national team. He discusses playing in both the armature and professional eras and how that transition put his career into perspective, but also brought with it a change in traditions in the Springbok team. Mark relives the frustration and disappointment he experienced at the age of 29 when he was told by the Sharks that he was no longer needed, after spending nearly his whole career at the club and captained the side. He went onto join the Newcastle Falcons in England on an 18-month contract and confesses that he hated the experience.
A positive that came out of his short stint at Newcastle is that it made him accept that his Rugby career was over and that it was time to move onto something else. Mark talks about how networking while he was a player had such a significant impact on his transition into business upon retirement. Mark is now the Director of M5 Sport Group, which is a company that specialises in supplying and servicing sports and general merchandise goods into mass retail in South Africa and Africa and he speaks about his journey in this business.
Mark offers some sound advice, as he explains that in Rugby it is about beating your opponent, whereas in business there needs to be a give and take when in a partnership and that remaining humble allows for greater success. Mark adds that retiring professional Rugby players need to be wise with their money if they plan on making investments into companies and must be open and accept that they will most likely start at the bottom when continuing their life after Rugby in business.
“The competitive side is good and is also bad in business. The one thing I have learnt is to always leave something on the table, where in Rugby or in sport, you want to win.” – Mark Andrews (Director at M5 Sports Group / Former Springbok Lock)