Get the Sport24 daily newsletter delivered to your Inbox!


    Kriel: I want to be the best

    2015-06-24 09:21

    Ockert de Villiers - Sport24

    Johannesburg - Following a stellar breakthrough Super Rugby campaign, Bulls sensation Jesse Kriel is determined to become one of the best players in the world.

    Kriel has been a revelation in the last line of defence during the Bulls’ rather erratic season with his defence-splitting runs from deep.

    “I set my goals last year and where I am now is where I planned to be, so I was waiting for that opportunity and I think I’ve achieved my goals so far,” Kriel said at a Powerade launch in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

    “It just comes down to working hard and I am not afraid to work hard, I really enjoy training and I want to become the best in the world.

    “I am at a union that allows me to express myself, I want to go to greater heights and I want to become a Springbok and win a World Cup.”

    Kriel, who is equally adept at outside centre and wing, said he was prepared to play in any position if it meant he would go to the global showpiece.

    His exploits this season had been aided by the successful back-three combination he formed with Francois Hougaard and Bjorn Basson with the trio forming the Bulls’ most dangerous attacking units.

    And while Kriel has performed with regular aplomb this season, he acknowledged former Bulls coach Frans Ludeke for showing faith in him and giving him the initial break.

    “Super Rugby is the hardest competition in the world I think, I got my opportunity early in the season, and I was really lucky when Frans gave me that opportunity,” Kriel said.

    “It was always his plan to give me that opportunity and when I got it I really enjoyed it. I’m enjoying my rugby and I am having a lot of fun.

    "I think I had a decent season and I learnt a lot, I think that is the most important thing and I think I’ve gained a bit of experience.”

    Now that Kriel has graduated from Super Rugby with distinction he believes he is well equipped for the rigours of international rugby.

    “I am going to go in there with a willingness to learn from guys like Bryan Habana, Willie le Roux and the guys that have played in a 100 Tests and I want to surround myself with the best because that is how you learn,” Kriel said.

    “I want to learn from the best and those are best and I think it will be a great opportunity and I will take the same approach as in any game and do whatever I can to make the team better.”

    Although Kriel has made an early impression he admits that he has not yet arrived on the international stage.

    His appetite for knowledge was highlighted on Tuesday when he picked former All Blacks and Lions coach John Mitchell’s brains about attacking play.

    “I chatted to him (Mitchell) about his whole outlook on attack and stuff like that and how he sees space, I find that really interesting as I really like to attack,” he said.

    “It is always great to hear about how different coaches see different things and he is obviously a really good coach and I just like to learn.”

    The Springboks will next week assemble in Johannesburg for a training camp before a squad of 40 players will be announced over the weekend ahead of the Rugby Championship.

    What To Read Next

    Read News24’s Comments Policy 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
    Comments have been closed for this article.
    Live Video Streaming
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    No results are available

    Opinion Poll

    Which South African franchise stands the best chance of winning this year's Super Rugby title?

    The ultimate Super Rugby quiz!

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