Franco Naude has an acute awareness when planning his modus operandi against opponents. He has a wide range of skills that his experience as a Junior Springbok and capped Vodacom Bulls centre has equipped him with to be able to perform on the field.
Unfortunately that experience counted very little when he decided to ask the love of his life and long time girlfriend, Anique, to be his wife in December.
Meanwhile, Johnny Kotze recently celebrated his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby cap as he was rewarded for consistently being on top of his game.
He is known for his no-nonsense approach to rugby and his experience allows him to do the right thing at the right time but proposing earlier this year to his sweetheart, Pippa, proved to be his biggest challenge yet.
We chatted to the two bruising centres to pick their minds about planning the perfect proposal.
When did you know it was time to pop the question?
FN: I can’t recall the exact moment but I met her when I was 17. She moved in across the street from us and from then I knew there were something special and different about her. After we had been dating for four years and my feelings hadn’t changed at all, I knew she is the one.
JK: It was round about the three year mark of our relationship when I just thought why am I still waiting? That was when I started thinking about asking. Yet it took me another year. Even though it took me that long, I just knew that things will fall into place like they had to.
Talk us through the planning of your proposal?
FN: I wanted it to be a surprise so in order for it to remain a secret, I enlisted the help of her mom and family.
We were on holiday at Pinnacle Pointand casually informed her that we would be going out to dinner at the clubhouse which was nothing out of the ordinary.
Upon arrival, her brother’s girlfriend suggested that we all go watch the sunset at the beach. Everything was already set up so all I needed to do was to pop the question. She was very surprised and luckily she said yes.
JK: I always knew I wanted to make it very special but also very unpredictable. There was another plan which didn’t work out but I had a lot of help from good friends setting up a the spot wich was at Yellow Wood game lodge, close to a small waterfall with some champagne, music, the works! Everything was set up and I took her to the spot with a quad bike, she knew nothing because I told her my mate arranged something special for his wife and she must see how cute it is.
How did the actual proposal go? Any bloopers or memorable moments?
FN: I was extremely nervous. More so than I expected to be. Initially she thought something was wrong as I was very quiet during the drive down to the beach.
I had everything planned, the speech, dropping down on one knee, everything. When the time came to ask her, my sentences were broken which she thought meant there was more coming while I was waiting for an answer. Eventually I asked her again and only then did she say yes with a huge smile on her face.
After the proposal, she did tell me that during my attempt to get down on one knee while focusing on the task at hand, I accidentally pulled down one side of her pants. I don’t remember that at all though.
JK: The proposal went very smooth actually, just the one blooper was that I asked my mate to go before hand and put the ring somewhere. He did go ahead but forgot the ring. Luckily I saw that he never took it and manage to take it without her seeing.
Any advice for people planning their proposal?
FN: Keep Rescue drops close by throughout the day. Just kidding. Try not to plan to much or stress to much, just enjoy the moment. Speaking from your heart is a sure fire way to get everything out that you need to say. Your proposal is such a special moment which you’ll remember for a lifetime.
JK: Don’t try and plan to hard, things will fall into place like they should and do your best to make it unpredictable. Also make it as special as possible for your partner.