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Local tag rugby player receives national colours

Darian De Oliveira stated that he feels amazing and that he is not only representing the city, but also his family, friends, and community and it is truly an honour and privilege to represent South Africa.

Darian De Oliveira, a resident of Johannesburg North, has been selected to be a member of the South Africa Tag Rugby team that will tour the United Kingdom to play a test match against Great Britain on July 2-10.

The Tag Benoni Northerns Team player received his national colours after an impressive performance in a tag rugby tournament called The TPL XXIV held in Cape Town.

The sport that is dominant in Cape Town is slowly becoming a big deal in Joburg and Oliveira became the only player in Gauteng to be selected.

He said that his performance in the tournament was quite impressive and he managed to score a hat trick and managed to assist teammates to defend well.

“In other games, I didn’t manage to win the games but overall, my performance as an individual was exceptional. I have very good speed and skill, I think that’s why I got selected and they saw me as an asset.”

Oliveira has an exceptional raw pace, he can find the gaps to capitalise on. He is a leader and a team player; he can read the game well and use his creativity to create opportunities.

He explained that he was over the moon when he heard that he would represent South Africa and wear green and gold. “The fact I’m the only Joburg-based player playing for the country makes it even more special. It’s truly an honour to represent my country and my community.”

Darian De Oliveira.

Oliveira fell in love and started playing the sport in 2023 after seeing the SuperSport bulletin segment about the tag rugby South Africa team going to Ireland for their tag rugby World Cup.

“I thought to myself ‘hey I never heard of tag rugby and it’s something could probably do well’. So, I contacted a tag rugby organiser and asked where I could play this sport. The challenge was they were only based in Cape Town, but they were planning on making a league in Joburg. So, I was just asking him at the right time.”

The sport faces some challenges as it is not yet recognised as a professional sport. Therefore, players can not earn a living just by playing. To travel overseas to play other teams the coaches and players have to raise their funds.

“It has always been a dream of mine to represent my country regardless of what sport. I was always an athlete and I could’ve made it in soccer, athletics or normal rugby. But injuries came my way in 2016. So, tag rugby allowed me to show my talent and skills and go further with it and honestly, I love the sport now. I’m hoping to inspire others to make the sport bigger than what it is.”

Darian De Oliveira feels honoured to receive his national colours.

The funds he has to raise is approximately R60 000 and that goes towards ticket flights, accommodation and expenses.

“It’s not just me looking for sponsors. It’s also the actual team looking If anyone out there that can either sponsor me or the team, I would be deeply grateful. You can contact me on directly on dariandeoliveira@yahoo.com.”

Follow the link to donate.

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