07 October 2023 - 09:00
Revo Fitness Stadium, Perth
Loose Head Prop
Schalk Ferreira is a product of Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch and has previously represented Western Province, Stormers, Eastern Province, Southern Kings and Toulouse in France.
Ferreira was born in Pretoria and later attended Stellenbosch-based high school Paul Roos Gymnasium. Ferreira represented Western Province at the Under-16 level in 2000 and played at the premier South African schools competition, the Under-18 Craven Week, on two occasions – in 2001 for a Coastal Western Province combination side and 2002 for Western Province. After the 2002 tournament, he played for the South African Schools team against their French and Welsh counterparts.
Ferreira was included in the South African Under-19 squad at the 2003 Under-19 Rugby World Championship in Paris. He helped South Africa win the tournament, beating New Zealand 22–18 in the final. Ferreira was included in the SA squad in the U-21 Rugby World Championship in Scotland in 2004.
Schalk played in 58 matches for Western Province after making his debut in 2005 in a Vodacom Cup match.
In 2007, Ferreira made his Super Rugby debut in Round Three of the competition, replacing Brok Harris in the second half of their match against the Chiefs in a 21–16 win in Cape Town. He appeared in 16 games in the competition.
Ferreira suffered a neck injury in a car crash during the off-season before the 2008 Super 14 season, which ruled him out of the start of the competition. Despite suggestions that Ferreira should retire following the injury, he returned to action for the final four rounds of the competition.
The coaching staff at Western Province tried converting Ferreira into a hooker. He suffered a further injury to the vertebrae in his neck and announced his retirement from rugby at the end of the 2009 season.
After completely missing the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Ferreira reversed his decision to retire and rejoined Western Province before the 2012 season. He played in all ten matches in the 2012 Vodacom Cup competition. He helped them win the competition for the first time in their history, beating Griquas 20–18 in a final that Ferreira started.
Ferreira joined Port Elizabeth-based side the Eastern Province Kings on a two-month trial during the 2012 Currie Cup First Division, which later became a permanent deal. After making his debut for the EP Kings in a match against a South African Students team, he made ten appearances for the EP Kings. He missed out on the first leg of their promotion/relegation play-off series against the Free State Cheetahs. Still, He returned for the second leg, but the EP Kings lost both matches to remain in the First Division.
In 2013, Ferreira started in the historic first-ever match for the Southern Kings, helping them secure a 22–10 victory over the Western Force. He firmly established himself as their first-choice loosehead prop, starting in the Kings' first 15 matches in the competition.
After 59 matches for the EP and Kings, Ferreira joined the exodus of players that left the Kings after they lost their Super Rugby relegation play-off series. Ferreira moved to France to join the Top 14 side, Toulouse. He initially signed for the side as a medical joker and was later rewarded with a three-year contract in which he has played 35 matches.
Ferreira returned in 2014 to South Africa as a member of a World XV that played against South Africa in a one-off match during the 2014 mid-year rugby union internationals. He appeared as a second-half replacement as South Africa won 47–13 in Cape Town. Ferreira's 35th and final appearance for Toulouse came in their match against Brive in Round 24 of the competition in 2015.
Ferreira was released from his contract with Toulouse a year early and returned to Port Elizabeth, signing a contract with the Eastern Province until the end of 2020. He played for the Southern Kings representing them in 2016-'20 in 77 matches before the Toyota Cheetahs contracted him in 2021.
He linked up with the Toyota Cheetahs just days before his 37th birthday. He brought a lot to the Cheetahs, especially experience. He has been playing first-class rugby since 2005 and usually plays as a loosehead prop.
Schalk Ferreira was 37 years and 18 days old when he made his debut for the Toyota Cheetahs. It was on 27 February 2021 against the Stormers in the Cape Town Stadium. He is the oldest player to debut for the Free State in 127 years.
On 28 August 2021, Ferreira played in his first of eight Currie Cup games for the Toyota Cheetahs against the Blue Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria.
Schalk was the oldest player in the Toyota Cheetah camp by 1 August 2022 at 38 years 173 days.