Former Springbok rugby great Stefan Terblanche is looking forward to representing South Africa and competing against All Black legend Richie McCaw at this year's GODZone in Fiordland National Park.
Mr Terblanche, now aged 42, played 37 tests as a wing for the South African Springbok team from 1998 to 2003. Now he will race in the massive expedition adventure event from March 1-10 with highly experienced South African team "Merrell Adventure Addicts".
"I initially said no and thought that would be the end of it, but the team captain Graham Bird asked me again and told me I would be fine. So I phoned around to get some info, emailed Richie and got his input, then phoned a good mate who has done many of the toughest endurance races in the world and he said I would be mad not to say yes, and so here I am," Mr Terblanche said.
Since retiring from professional rugby, the formidable South African sportsman has kept in shape completing the Cape Epic cycle tour, Ironman 70.3 and summiting Mount Kilimanjaro. He said he was nervous but ready to take on the GODZone challenge despite disliking being cold and wet.
Speaking of the classic Bok vs. All Black rivalry, Mr Terblanche said it was all about mutual respect between the two rugby nations.
"We know what it takes to compete at the top level against one another and the hard work it takes to get there and stay there. Springbok and All Blacks are massive rivals on the field but then we enjoy a beer together afterward, which I will be looking forward to doing with Richie McCaw and his PwC teammates at GODZone."
Mr Terblanche is joined by team captain Graham Bird, Grant Ross, and Jane Swarbreck.
100 teams from around the world will compete at GODZone Chapter 7. The 450km course will include mountain biking, kayaking, pack rafting, trekking, and a ropes section.