Greyling ready for Oz scrum
Pretoria – Springbok newcomer Dean Greyling did not expect the front-row combination of himself, John Smit and Werner Kruger to fit into the openings of the scrum machine at their first session together.
“We are quite a big unit,” the 25-year-old Greyling said with a broad smile on Tuesday as he spoke about his first week as a Springbok.
As befitting a front-ranker, he was licking his lips in anticipation of taking on the Aussie scrum with the Springbok captain and his Bulls team-mate in next Saturday’s Tri-Nations game.
“John (1.86m, 116kg), Werries (1.90 and 110) and myself ( 1.92 and 115kg) make up quite a big front row and even if I have to say so myself, I thought our first scrumming session went well,” said Greyling.
“We are of similar size and I was afraid for just a moment that we wouldn’t fit into the openings when we worked the scrum machine for the first time.”
Greyling was speaking after Tuesday morning’s training session at Hyde Park High, where the Boks continued their preparations for the game against the Wallabies.
The magnitude of his debut Test will only hit home when he sings the anthem with his new team-mates in Sydney, but Greyling is eager to use the opportunity to ensure that it’s not his last.
Coach Peter de Villiers said he was excited about the enthusiasm among his players in training and he could just as well have been referring to Greyling.
“I think there are a few guys who want to grab the opportunity with both hands and get to the World Cup. My message to them is that no door is closed and that they are now getting the opportunity to play their way into the squad,” said De Villiers in motivating the squad.
That is good news for Greyling because he knows all about taking his opportunities.
Greyling was in the Boks’ enlarged squad for last year’s November tour after grabbing his opportunity when Gurthrö Steenkamp broke his arm in the Currie Cup.
And this year, when Steenkamp suffered the same misfortune during Super Rugby, Greyling was not so much ready to open the door as he was to kick it down.
“Yes, I have waited for a long time because Gurthrö was ahead of me and playing excellent rugby. At one stage I thought I would become the player with the most Vodacom Cup appearances ever!”
Greyling’s impressive performances again caught the eyes of the selectors and this time the reward was one that every boy playing rugby dreams about from the age of five.
“This has been a good year for me. I got married earlier this year (15 January), bought my first home and have now been picked for the Boks. I think I should buy a few bottles and store them because this is a good vintage,” said the engaging former Affie.
Meanwhile, De Villiers also expressed his satisfaction with CJ van der Linde. The Bok prop joined up with the squad on Monday and a decision will be taken on Wednesday whether he will tour Australasia.
“He surprised me with his fitness. He came through a few tough sessions and is looking good,” said De Villiers.