Rugby

Claassen to play for France?

2009-09-30 07:44
Wynand Claasen (Gallo Images)
Stephen Nell

Cape Town - He regards France as his “second team” and that is why he won’t mind his son, Antonie, playing for Les Bleus next year.

That was the reaction of former Springbok captain Wynand Claassen to reports from the Northern Hemisphere that French coach Marc Lievremont had taken notice of his son’s good performances for Brive.

“I understand he is highly-rated, but he simply has to continue giving his best,” Claassen senior said about his son.
“France was always my second team. I played there myself for Marmande.”

Lievremont, who previously was not interested by overseas-based players, reportedly said that Antonie Claassen is the only one that interests him.

“I watch all the Top14 (French domestic tournament) games. The only overseas player I like is Antonie Claassen. He has the qualities I look for in a loose forward,” Lievremont said according to an AFP report.

Claassen (24) told Sport24 from France on Tuesday that he had gone to France “blindly” in 2007. He will qualify to play for them in October 2010 after completing 36 months of residence there. He started at Marmande, but went to Brive early in his stay.

“Olivier Magne (a former French international loose forward) was injured and appointed as coach, which meant I could take his place in the team,” said Claassen.

Claassen’s initial decision to go overseas was made because of a lack of progress in his career at the Blue Bulls.

“I never made an impact there,” he said.

That is not the case at Brive and he finds it flattering to have had his name mentioned in public by Lievremont.

“It’s a big honour, but hopefully by this time next year he is still talking about me because I only qualify to play for France in October 2010,” said Claassen.

“We are playing in the Heineken Cup this season. If I can perform at that level, it will do a lot for my confidence. You play against the best from all over Europe and it will be a good test.”

Claassen is at home on the flank or at No 8. He is a strong ball-carrier and has a good work ethic.

“I always give 100%. The French like players that are prepared to work hard,” he said.

“The standard of the Top 14 is good. Any side can beat any other on a given weekend.”

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

It’s THIS easy for someone to steal you ATM pin!

Can you spot the moment the girl’s pin is stolen?

 
 

For chic geeks...

Check out the speed of this robo-cheetah!
New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!
Puppy goes crazy over iPad game
Printable solar panels will bring exciting new opportunities!
 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
Vote

After their narrow defeat to the All Blacks in Wellington, the Springboks will be relishing their "return" clash at Ellis Park. Or will they... ? Who do you see winning in Johannesburg?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.