Boks in UK
Bok call a surprise for Marco
Marco Wentzel (Getty Images)
Cape Town - Forgotten Springbok Marco Wentzel admits it was a big surprise when he received a phone-call from coach Heyneke Meyer to be a stand-by player for South Africa's European tour.
Should one of South Africa's No 5 locks get injured, the 33-year-old London Wasps star will be called up to the national team for the first time in 10 years.
He played his last Test against Scotland in Edinburgh in November 2002 and has played his rugby in England since 2007.
"A part of you never stops dreaming to again come into the (Springbok) reckoning. But after 10 years and the fact that I play overseas, made it (the call from Meyer) a surprise," he told the Volksblad website
Wentzel says he's enjoying his rugby in England and believes he could add value to the Boks' lineout should he get a chance.
"It's going really well (with my rugby). I enjoy the (English) Premiership and am privileged not to struggle with any injuries. However, we do play an unbelievable amount of rugby. But Wasps' lineouts are currently the second best in the Premiership and I've won the most balls."
The Springboks will play three Tests against Ireland, Scotland and England and Wentzel feels all three countries will pose a challenge in the lineouts, but singled out England as probably the toughest.
"All three countries have good players in Paul O’Connell (Munster, Ireland), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester, Scotland) and Geoff Parling (Leicester, England) who call their lineouts.
"I play against them a lot and I think England will be the toughest (in the lineouts). They have mobile locks and loose forwards that can jump."