Bismarck du Plessis plants post-rugby seeds in New Zealand

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Now back in South Africa after completing his playing career with French club Montpellier, the 79-Test veteran du Plessis, 37, told that he was working on various business interests, one of which includes New Zealand.


"I'm hoping that our wine brand, the Rugby Field Vineyard, will go from strength to strength in places like Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, France, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand.


"The basic idea involves cultivating a vineyard in the shape of a rugby field in each location," he said.


"The wine varies from place to place. We had Grenache in France, we will have Malbec in Argentina, a Pinotage in South Africa and a while varietal somewhere in New Zealand."


Du Plessis said his rugby experience in France had been good for him.


"I experienced a lot of new things. I encountered people who had different philosophies, and that in turn forced me to open my eyes and see things a bit differently. I grew a lot over there," he said.



"My perception changed overseas. Montpellier is a lekker [pleasant] place to live. The weather is mild and the community is tight. I threw myself into the challenge of learning French – myself and my family are pretty fluent now – and I worked hard to experience the French culture and those of other nationalities.


"That's what you don't realise before you make the trip to Europe: you are going to mix with top players from England, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and Georgia, as well as the elite players in France. They all have different takes on life as well as rugby, and you cannot help but benefit from those interactions.


"I look back now and realise how important that experience was for me. I had a pretty narrow view of the world before I left South Africa," he said.


Whether he plays rugby again is uncertain but he has no complaints about his career.


"I played a lot of Tests for South Africa, so I can't complain. But did I know the game against Argentina [for third place at the World Cup] in 2015 would be my last? Definitely not.


"That's why you can never take anything for granted.


"That's the advice I would give to the younger players of today, to play every game as if it's your last, and to cherish every moment," he said.


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