Cape Town - Springbok No 8 Warren Whiteley
says he wants to add value by playing his natural game.
Whiteley started his first game for South
Africa as he featured in the No 8 jersey during the team’s 46-10 win over the
World XV at Newlands last Saturday.
It was his third appearance for the
Springboks, having made two appearances off the bench at blindside flank during
Looking ahead, Whiteley hopes to add value
in his own way as incumbent No 8 Duane Vermeulen is sidelined following surgery.
“It’s difficult to compare Duane and I as
we’re two very different players. I’m not here to fill his boots as a
world-class player like him is irreplaceable. I just want to play my natural
game and contribute on the field in whatever way I can,” Whiteley told
“I’m very excited about having the
opportunity to play at No 8 as my two previous appearances for South Africa
have been at blindside flank.
“I hope to add some energy during our play…
making tackles, being the link between backs and forwards and running some
metres when I have ball in hand, especially in the wings. My work-rate is one
of my biggest strengths.”
While 2015 offers Whiteley a great
opportunity to play his way into the Springbok Rugby World Cup squad, he also
has his sights set on playing at the Olympics with the Springbok Sevens in
Whiteley was part of the national sevens
team that won gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“It’s been an amazing 2015 so far and I’m
definitely excited about what lies ahead. It all started with a great journey
with the Lions during Super Rugby. It’s also amazing that players like Faf de
Klerk, Lionel Mapoe, Elton Jantjies and Franco Mostert have received Springbok
call-ups after showing great form,” said Whiteley.
“Right now, my focus is with the Springboks
as I want to make a positive impact and notable impression. From a sevens
perspective, I definitely would like to be part of the Springbok Sevens squad
to compete at the Olympics. That won’t be easy as I am captain at the Lions,
but I’m hoping a plan can be put in place for me to earn my spot in the team.
“Playing at the Olympics would be an
opportunity of a lifetime.”
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