Springboks

Spies: I’m available if Boks need me

2015-07-08 15:39

Pretoria - Experienced No 8 Pierre Spies has spoken about his fondest memories with the Bulls and Springboks during his 11 seasons of professional rugby in South Africa.

Spies emerged on the rugby scene as an exciting talent in 2005, which caught the attention of the nation. His hard-hitting runs and big impact on defence made him one of the top loose forwards in world rugby.

In Bulls colours, he celebrated three Super Rugby titles in 2007, 2009 and 2010, and two Currie Cup titles in 2006 (shared with the Free State Cheetahs) and 2009. He also captained the franchise during this year’s Super Rugby campaign.

Spies made his Test debut for the Springboks as a 21-year-old in 2006. His performances in the green and gold saw him named SA Rugby Young Player of the Year. He went on to play 52 Tests for South Africa, celebrating the Rugby Championship (then known as the Tri-Nations) title and British & Irish Lions Tour triumph in what was a memorable 2009.

He holds the record for most tries as a No 8 (seven tries) and most caps (48 Tests - he also played four at flank and one at wing). He enjoyed 36 victories with the Springboks, including five against old rivals, the All Blacks.

“My most fondest memories would definitely be playing Test rugby for the Springboks and winning trophies for South Africa and Bulls. From a personal perspective, the try I scored against the Crusaders in 2009 Super Rugby semi-final was one of thy best I’ve ever scored. Those moments will always stand out for me,” Spies told MyPlayers.co.za.

“I’m very thankful for all the opportunities that came my way. And I’m looking forward to many more rugby memories in the future.”

Spies has struggled with serious injury in recent years, which has kept him out of rugby for long periods. However, he was delighted to play regularly during Super Rugby this season.

“It was good to be back on the field and playing week in and week out. My previous injuries kept me out of the game for a year and half, which was really tough, so it was good to be back on my feet,” said Spies.

“I felt like I was improving after match during Super Rugby, which was a good feeling. My biggest personal development was the amount of balls I’ve stolen at the breakdown. I’ve stolen more ball this season than I have during my entire career, which I was very happy about. This has added something new to my game.”

Shortly after this interview with Spies, the 30-year-old was a notable omission in the 49-man Springbok squad announced ahead of the Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup.

However, he says he will never give up the hope of representing South Africa, even when he continues his career in Japan and France at clubs.

And with concern over the recovery of Springbok and Stormers No 8 Duane Vermeulen ahead of the World Cup, there might be a need for Spies in the near future.

“The competition in the loose forward department is really tough in South Arica. This country always manages to develop great loosies,” said Spies.

“The selectors have a great bunch of players to pick from. There’s so much talent and the loose forwards have really played well all season this year, especially a guy like Warren Whiteley. At the end of the day, I think versatility will decide who makes the final squad.

“I will be here whenever the Springboks need me. I have this hunger to play for the Springboks, which will never be satisfied.”

For more exclusive player content, check out MyPlayers.co.za

Read more on:    springboks  |  pierre spies  |  rugby
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