After a Super rugby debut that saw him ease past veteran Test superstar Lote Tuqiri of the Waratahs for a scintillating try in the corner, Louis Ludik says he “enjoyed the first taste” and he is hungry for more.
“It was an amazing feeling getting in for that try on Saturday,” Ludik told the site, “but I was just fortunate to have slipped Tuqiri’s tackle.”
The 20-year-old Lions flier has rushed through the ranks of representative rugby and is one of the current crop of youngsters who are threatening established Springboks for a ticket to World Cup France in September.
Louis Ludik hails from Kempton Park, Gauteng, where he was schooled at EG Jansen, playing Craven Week for the Falcons. He quickly moved on to the Lions u10 side the next year, followed by Lions u21 and Vodacom Cup duty in the following years.
Last year he made his Currie Cup debut, becoming one of the tournament’s leading try-scorers, and that in a completely new position of wing. Ludik had previously played all his rugby at fullback, where he had also done his share of goal-kicking.
Ludik credits coach Eugene Eloff for his policy of mentoring young talent through the system.
“The coach is just awesome. He is incredibly encouraging and he knows how to make the best of new talent.
“His selection is always spot-on, and he always chooses the best combinations.”
Ludik had a flying start to his first Super 14 match, fielding all the high balls with which the ‘Tahs peppered him, and making a break with his first touch off the kick-off. His performance was capped off by his try, and was only marred by a fumble with the try-line in sight.
“I enjoyed the game a lot, even though it was disappointing that we didn’t come out with the win.
“But we have got hope. We are going to get stronger and stronger. And we are ready for the Highlanders on Saturday.”
Ludik believes the absence of skipper Andre Pretorius has a measurable impact on the side.
“Andre is the kind of guy you tell stories about to your grandchildren – we definitely miss him. His leadership is something special.”