Pretoria - Bulls fullback Jesse Kriel is delighted with his call-up to the Springbok training squad, and plans to make the most of the opportunity.
Kriel has been one of the standout South African performers during Super Rugby this season.
In his second year of Super Rugby, he has established himself as the Bulls’ first-choice fullback, showing great skills on attack and proving to be solid on defence and under the high ball. His outstanding moments have come with ball in hand, creating many try-scoring opportunities when in space.
His consistent form has been rewarded with a call-up to one of the Springbok training group in Johannesburg from May 3-6.
The 21-year-old said he aims to soak in all the experience and knowledge he can.
“I’m delighted with the news. Getting the chance to train with the Springboks has been part of my goals, and I’m glad I’ve done enough to get the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best players in South Africa,” Kriel told MyPlayers.co.za.
“I’ll definitely be speaking to my Bulls team-mates like Pierre Spies, Francois Hougaard and Handre Pollard, who all have Springbok experience and are good friends of mine. Their advice will help me prepare myself.
“The main experience I want to get out of this opportunity is to get familiar with the structures in the national squad, on and off the field. Anything else would be a bonus. Coach Heyneke (Meyer) has said that there are opportunities for players to play their way into the team, and I would definitely grab that chance with both hands, but I’m just taking things one day at a time.”
The Springbok training squads (44 each):
Johannesburg camp (Sharks on tour) - May 3-6:
Forwards (26): Arno Botha, Ruan Botha, Heinrich Brüssow, Schalk Burger, Nizaam Carr, Robbie Coetzee, Lood de Jager, Jacques du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Dean Greyling, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Siya Kolisi, Lappies Labuschagne, Frans Malherbe, Victor Matfield, Teboho Mohoje, Trevor Nyakane, Scarra Ntubeni, Coenie Oosthuizen, Pierre Spies, Adriaan Strauss, Marcel van der Merwe, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley
Backs (18): Bjorn Basson, Demetri Catrakilis, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Faf de Klerk, Jean de Villiers, Cornal Hendricks, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Pat Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Rudy Paige, Handré Pollard, Jan Serfontein, Kobus van Wyk, Francois Venter
Cape Town camp (Bulls on tour) - May 31-June 3:
Forwards (27): Willem Alberts, Ruan Botha, Heinrich Brüssow, Schalk Burger, Nizaam Carr, Marcell Coetzee, Robbie Coetzee, Lood de Jager, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Jean Deysel, Eben Etzebeth, Lizo Gqoboka, Ryan Kankowski, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Siya Kolisi, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Teboho Mohoje, Tendai Mtawarira, Scarra Ntubeni, Coenie Oosthuizen, Michael Rhodes, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley
Backs (17): Demetri Catrakilis, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Faf de Klerk, Jean de Villiers, Nic Groom, Cornal Hendricks, Elton Jantjies, Cheslin Kolbe, Pat Lambie, Willie le Roux, Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, JP Pietersen, Cobus Reinach, Kobus van Wyk, Francois Venter
For more exclusive player content, check out MyPlayers.co.za