Cape Town - Stormers backline coach Robbie Fleck believes centre Juan de Jongh's omission from the Springbok squad has led to an improvement in his play.
De Jongh was not picked in new Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer's squad for the recent England series, but his franchise coach believes it has spurred him on to become a better player.
Since the resumption of the Super Rugby competition after the winter tours break De Jongh has played three cracking games for the Capetonians. In their last league match against the Rebels he also impressed with two eye-catching tries.
"Juan's been playing a blinder for the last three games. I think the fact the he wasn't involved at the Boks motivated him more. You'll even find him trying a little chip-kick or two to try and get us on the front foot or to relieve pressure," Fleck told Die Burger
De Jongh will on Saturday come up against his former Stormers team-mate Tim Whitehead from the Sharks, when the two teams meet in the Super Rugby semi-finals at Newlands.
Whitehead has impressed for the Sharks and his duel with De Jongh will be interesting to watch.
"I rate Tim highly for his, vision, passing and the lines he runs," said Fleck, who coached Whitehead when he still played for the University of Cape Town.
The clash at Newlands kicks off at 17:05 on Saturday.
15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (captain), 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Deon Fourie, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Tiaan Liebenberg, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Frans Malherbe, 17. Deon Carstens, 18. De Kock Steenkamp, 19. Don Armand, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Burton Francis, 22. Gerhard van den HeeverSharks:
15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (captain), 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Odwa Ndungane, 22 Riaan Viljoen