08.04.2016

Socks and jocks

The Ikey Tigers Rugby Club tackle our underwear

Words: Dylan Muhlenberg | Photographs: Paul Cocks

While The Way of Us would love to set the scene by talking about the stink of sweat and ripe rugby togs amidst all of that post-game blood, sweat and tears, we shan't because the Ikey Tigers Rugby Club’s locker rooms are pristine with just the slightest whiff of lavender disinfectant. It may be beside the point, but it’s worth noting that if the janitorial staff is doing this good a job we can see why UCT has decided to abolish outsourcing.

In similarly good shape are the Ikeys that we recruited for our shoot; seven young men at peak physical condition, looking to play the best rugby of their lives. And if anyone knows how the wrong underwear can be a game changer, it’s the young men playing in the Varsity Cup Tournament, athletes who define masculinity in terms of their physical prowess while still managing to balance their studies.

Shop the story

Smart athletes get the job done and expect their underwear to do the same. These guys know that you don’t wait until the waistband of your jocks are hanging by a thread or until your tighty-whities are no longer as tight, or white, as they once were. Because if your significant other notices these things before you do – game over.

Tackling the underwear issue by teaming up with the likes of Diesel, G-Star, Stüssy, adidas, Jack & Jones and more, our guys went beyond basics and paired our jocks with a selection of our socks. The result? Players who have got game.  

Jesse Willensky

Age: 20

Studying: BA in politics and history

Position: Utility back

Do you have a pair of lucky jocks?

There are two comfortable pairs of jocks that I wear for every game. It doesn’t matter which pair I wear. I don’t know why they feel so good because they’re the same size and brand as the rest, but for some reason these just fit really well.

Biggest underwear mistakes men make?

Boxers. Especially the really loose boxers. In rugby you have to have everything together. You can’t have anything hang out. Our shorts are really short.

Who’s longest in the shower?

Gosh, I wouldn’t know. I have to think about that… I’ll have to come back to that... That’s a hell of a question, oke.

What’s your favourite movie?

The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock and that really big black oke who comes from a bad background and gets quite emotional at the end.

Ultimate halftime song?

Got to be careful what I answer. I’ll think about that one, too. Jonas… no… Jungle ‘X Ambassadors’.

Tell us about the fans, cheerleaders and rugby groupies.

No comment because I have a girlfriend.

Do you ever pick on nerds?

UCT has taught me to be very accepting of everyone’s personality. You have a lot of personalities here and whether you like it or not you’re forced to interact with them. That interaction opens your eyes and helps you to be less judgmental of others.

Paul Hendry

Age: 23

Studying: Bachelor of Social Science in organisational psychology and sociology

Position: Centre or wing

Do you have a pair of lucky jocks?

Yes, I have a few pairs actually. I’ll wear a pair and if I play well then I’ll keep that pair for the next game or until I play a bad game in them.

How often do you replace your underwear?

Quite often. I don’t buy in bulk or anything. I just grab a few pairs where and when I can. My mom actually helps me out, hey.

What’s your favourite movie?

Chasing Mavericks. I liked the surfing and doing something that you think you can’t do and then end up achieving, type of thing.

Your ultimate halftime song?

Before games I usually just listen to The Hakka. That always gets me revved up before we run out.

Tell us about the fans, cheerleaders and rugby groupies.

We don’t have too much interaction with the cheerleaders. Some of us might go to their tryouts and help choose, even though we don’t know what we’re doing. This year has been the best cheerleaders I’ve seen. Skills.

Who’s longest in the shower?

Probably Gareth. That long hair of his.

Do you ever pick on nerds?

No, not at all. We actually look at incorporating our team motto 'Try and become a better man' into our lives.

Frank Goble

Age: 19

Studying: Business Science

Position: Centre and wing

Do you have a pair of lucky jocks?

Actually I do have a pair. They’re not like jocks, more like those nut hanger standard undies. I’ve got a pair that I’ve had since Grade Seven. They’re getting a bit tight now.

What are the underwear mistakes most men make?

I dunno, I don’t actually see many people in their underpants? The worst is where you get the hole in the bottom. Has that ever happened to you? The only time that helps is when you go to the beach and the sand can filter out.

How often do you replace your underwear?

Replace like wash or buy? Mine go missing so often that I’m always having to buy more.

What’s your favourite movie?

Invictus. I like how it’s about South Africa and Apartheid and all that.

Ultimate halftime song?

‘Stand Up For the Champions’.

Who’s longest in the shower?

I’ve only played one game and left early.

Tell us about the fans, cheerleaders and rugby groupies.

It’s quite distracting. Especially when you warm up or you’re trying to get Gee’d up and they’re dancing or whatever. You always have to take a sneaky look.

Do you ever pick on nerds?

Nah, that’s changed. Nerds have a voice now.

Rayno Mapoe

Age: 21

Studying: International relations and political sciences.

Position: Wing/fullback

How often do you replace your underwear?

Daily I think? Oh, like buying? Probably like every three months. My mom usually does it.

Biggest underwear mistakes men make?

Going for the bigger sizes. I think they find it’s actually a bit baggy for them.

What’s your favourite movie?

Longest Yard or Gridiron Gang. I like how they take kids who have no chance and show them if you work together you can become something great.

Who’s longest in the shower?

Probably Jesse.

Ultimate halftime song?

We have an Ikey anthem called ‘Warrior’. It’s on YouTube.

Tell us about the fans, cheerleaders and rugby groupies.

It’s quite nice to have fans. It’s quite nice, the attention you get. Earlier on I actually had a write up on me on the Varsity Cup website and from that I had so many requests on Facebook and followers on Instagram.

Bradley Janse Van Rensburg

Age: 21

Studying: Honours in financial analysis and portfolio management.

Position: Was scrumhalf and now wing.

Do you have a pair of lucky jocks?

I have a handful. Got the going out jocks, the playing jocks… You got to look good. Anything can happen.

How often do you replace your underwear?

Whenever I feel the pants are getting a bit worn out they have to hit the bin.

What’s your favourite movie?

Any good boxing movie. Real Steel, the one with the robots. It was a bit different though. Heart warming. I liked South Paw as well. It’s the type of movie where after you watch it you have to get up and do something.

Ultimate halftime song?

Not one to remember names that well. You know in the movies there’s that heartwarming stuff that gets you going? That.

Who’s longest in the shower?

I’d say me. I’m always late for everything and it always takes me an extra ten minutes to do something.

Tell us about the fans, cheerleaders and rugby groupies.

There are a couple of lookers around… I have a girlfriend, so… Any compliment you get you just take it and it doesn’t mean you have to act on anything.

Gareth Ehret

Age: 22

Studying: Film and media

Position: Loose forward, flank

Do you have a pair of lucky jocks?

I’ve got a pair that I play in. I don’t know if that makes them lucky? They’re relatively comfortable and I don’t wear tights so they act as like a double layer.

Biggest underwear mistakes men make?

Not wearing any? Keeping a pair for too long and they start going see through and stuff?

How often do you replace your underwear?

My dad and my brother and I are all the same size so he buys and we just take his.

What’s your favourite movie?

That fighting movie. Never Back Down. Inspirational.

Ultimate halftime song?

I’m not very good with music, hey. ‘Anthem for the Underdog’. It’s in that movie that I just mentioned.

Tell us about the fans, cheerleaders and rugby groupies.

It makes it a lot easier to get chicks when your face is on the side of the sports building. You have a few beers and then point yourself out. Our cheerleaders aren’t that fresh, but Stellies though, yoh, those Afrikaans chicks…

Do you ever pick on nerds?

Not so much at varsity. Especially at UCT because everyone is quite arsty and friends and stuff. But at school, definitely.

Ibrahim Adams

Age: 19

Studying: BSC in physiology and genetics

Position: Wing, centre or fullback.

Do you have a pair of lucky jocks?

Not exactly. Nothing specific. Whichever ones I pull out on the day.

Biggest underwear mistakes men make?

Some guys choose the wrong length of socks. Like a rugby length sock with shorts. Gimme an ankle sock with a nice pattern.

How often do you replace your underwear?

My mom’s been doing it for years. I have no preference but when she buys the wrong size that gets to me.

Who’s longest in the shower?

Liam Ferniss.

What’s your favourite movie?

Remember the Titans. Group of guys from different backgrounds, hated each other, fighting through it and realizing that the only way to be successful is to work together. Brotherhood is important for any team sport.

Ultimate halftime song?

Electro, upbeat music gets me going. Any hard style EDM.

Tell us about the fans, cheerleaders and rugby groupies.

There’s a few lookers in the cheerleading team, hey. I chatted to a few when we had training and I was helping them out with their boxes and that. I didn’t take it further, though.

Do you ever pick on nerds?

No, but it’s not a physical thing anymore. Nowadays it’s more psychological.