Paul Willemse targets Bok spot

2013-01-07 22:25

Cape Town - Former Baby Bok lock and new Bulls recruit Paul Willemse has set his sights on representing the Springboks in 2013.

The 20-year-old, who won the IRB Junior World Championship with the SA under-20 side last year, recently made the move across the Jukskei River from the Golden Lions to the Blue Bulls.

Willemse admitted he exceeded his own expectations in 2012 after initially only setting himself the goal of playing Vodacom Cup rugby. Aside from his success with the Baby Boks, he also represented the Lions' senior side in Super Rugby and the Currie Cup.

"There were many things I did not anticipate last season that came my way," the 2.00m and giant told the Rugby365 website.

"It made me realise that one should not place barriers in your way. Dream big."

And dreaming big is exactly what Willemse plans to do this year, as he expressed his desire to go all the way in 2013.

"My dream is to play for the Springboks in 2013."

This goal is also driven by former Springbok lock Victor Matfield, who now coaches the Bulls forwards.

"I told him I would like to play for the Bulls on a regular basis in 2013 and he asked me why I don't aspire to play for the Boks. When I said I did, he insisted that I made this part of my career goals for 2013. That will be my focus this season," Willemse said.

The Bulls start their Super Rugby campaign at home against their arch rivals, the Stormers, on February 22.


  • chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-07 23:09

    Dream big?? And then you joined the Bulls? Is last on the log big enough for you?

      koos.vandermerwe.372 - 2013-01-08 03:59

      Can we try and be constructive in our comments this year?

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-08 04:03

      You are welcome to try that, yes. I give you permission.

      ruan.smith.14 - 2013-01-08 09:59

      Chrisinoz, dont you need to go and spray some water outside, i hear oz is burning, just like london, in that kindergarden song!!

      sharkie.fin - 2013-01-08 11:03

      @chrisin.oz.1 - What a Prick!

  • Kykweer - 2013-01-08 00:40

    Anyone with common sense knew he was gonna be a bok after his first game for the lions this year... Good luck paul, you and eben will be a monster pairing.

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-08 00:58

      Let's just hope his rugby does not deteriorate at the Bulls. But I agree with you, he would probably be better than Kruger or Flip. Would be hard for him to lift Andries Bekker out of the Bok line-up though.

      prot.kpax.33 - 2013-01-08 08:05

      Injury prone Bekker lifts himself out of the bok team bru.

  • NguVala - 2013-01-08 01:46

    Talented young lock and its good to hear that he wants to play for the Boks. However; I think his original ambition was good enough but Matfield just had to push. Eben is the first choice number 4 lock then there is Flip. Unless he displaces Flip, I don't see it happening. It will be a huge year for young locks in this country and I'm excited (Eben, Ruan Botha, Willemse). Life looks rosy for SA rugby

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-08 02:42

      You must be high or something. Flop is currently third choice lock, behind Bekker and Kruger. And he is only in the Bok squad because of injury.

      NguVala - 2013-01-08 07:11

      @chrisin what I'm talking about are number 4 locks, enforcers in other words. Then; I go on to talk about other young locks in the country. As for Kruger, maybe you didn't hear that he signed for a French team. That will make things tough for him. PS: sometimes its better to just put your point across as opposed to bad language

      chrisin.oz.1 - 2013-01-08 07:44

      Flop plays both 4 or 5. He is not an enforcer, no matter which number he has on the back. My point is that if this guy is any good, he will be able to lift Flop out of the team, easily. Andries Bekker can also play both 4 or 5. Kruger probably too. Then you have Alberts who can play lock as well. Willemse should not aim to lift Flop, he should aim to lift Kruger, which wouldn't be too difficult though. And playing in France (only at the end of the year) doesn't mean he won't get picked, by the way. Lastly, I agree with you about the young talent in SA rugby - very exciting. It's not limited to the locks though.

  • gary.doyle.520 - 2013-01-08 05:31

    No shortage of lock talent in SA, good mix of youth and some experience for Bok selectors to look at. Good to have ambitions like Willemse, be interesting to see how he does at the Bulls where they place great emphasis on lock play.

  • pieter.thefuture - 2013-01-08 07:05

    Wow, big news story - who would have ever thought a rugby player in SA has dreams of playing for the Boks.

  • johannes.barnard.77 - 2013-01-08 10:30

    Turn Eben into a number 5 Lock ( great line out player ), Paul is better number 4 Lock (does all the hard work clearing rucks making big hits ), this is our future Bekker is to soft to many injuries, Juandre is gowing overseas , .......

  • praben.manuel - 2013-01-09 07:57

    Don't think that playing 4 the bulls make u a bok; u can look like an oak tree and snap like a stick

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