The 28 year-old South African is excited to be back training with the Hurricanes after lockdown and he said it would be a massive honour to wear the number 14 jersey again this year. van Wyk is enjoying his time so much, he’s hoping for a contract extension.
“I’m feeling right at home with the boys. It had been an awesome few months leading up to Covid-19, so I think my agent and the Hurricanes are busy with the contract for next year and maybe a two-year deal, so I’m just waiting on that. In another week or two we’ll sort that out.”
Before joining the Hurricanes at the start of the season, van Wyk had previously played six seasons of Super Rugby, with the Stormers and Sharks. It was a connection with former Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree that got him to New Zealand, and he said while Plumtree is now tied up with the All Blacks, they’ve still kept in touch.
“We still keep in contact. He comes around with his bike when he gets bored at home to have a coffee. He’s a good guy.”
van Wyk had an impressive debut for the Hurricanes, scoring a hat trick on debut against the Sunwolves in Napier. He’s scored four tries in his three outings, having dealt with injury niggles in the first part of the season.
Throughout high school in South Africa, van Wyk played in the midfield, until 2014 when he moved to the wing for the Stormers. He said he made his mark at wing but would love to get back into the centres in the future and it’s no secret it’s his dream to one day play for the Springboks.
“It’s been a childhood dream basically from when I first had a rugby ball in my hand. For now, it’s all about playing some great footy for the Hurricanes and stamping my mark on the number 14 jersey.”
van Wyk lives in Wellington with his pregnant wife and young son, but the rest of his family still live in South Africa. He admits it’s been tough over the last few months to be away from his parents.
“It’s hard because you can’t do anything back home for your parents, so if anything goes wrong on that side you can’t even go and support them. I’ve been in contact with them basically every day and I am missing them. My brother is still there and helping my family out and they are all strong and safe, so I’m happy about that.”
He joked that he’s heard quite a bit about a former Hurricane by the name of Beauden Barrett. The perfect grudge match is set up for round one, when the Blues host the Hurricanes on Sunday 14 June at 3:05pm at Eden Park.
“Basically, we have to stop him apparently. He’s quite quick they said, so that’s the talk in the camp is just to stop him and get under his skin.”
van Wyk is signed with the Petone club but hinted that he’d like to play for the Manawatu Turbos in the Mitre 10 Cup, having had conversations with coach Peter Russell.