Esterhuizen: Step up to Boks was mentally tough
- Sharks No 12 Andre
Esterhuizen is finally a Springbok, but he says that the
step up from Super Rugby to Test rugby was tougher than he expected it to
The 24-year-old made his Test
debut in South Africa's 22-20 loss
to Wales in Washington where he was one of the only shining lights in a
disappointing Bok display, while he also started the third and final Test
against England in Cape Town.
Opportunities were limited that
day as the Boks came unstuck in the rain, but despite being on the losing end
in his only two Tests so far, Esterhuizen believes he has come back a better
"It's been a very exciting
year and a good year for me," he told media in Durban on Tuesday ahead of
the Sharks' crucial clash against the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday.
"I've been happy with my
form lately and I was fortunate to get a call-up from the Boks.
"I learnt a lot there that
will help me at the Sharks and it was a privilege to play for the Springboks.
All the guys that were there learnt a lot and everyone if going to bring it
back and show here."
On making the step up,
Esterhuizen conceded it took some time for him to adjust.
"It's a bigger match than
you've ever played before and the biggest step up for me was to get myself
mentally right for it," he said.
"It's a hard game and a lot
different to Super Rugby."
The Sharks are fighting for their
lives in Super Rugby and they must secure wins against the Stormers and then
the Jaguares to stand any chance of qualifying for the playoffs.
This weekend they face a Stormers
side that has had one of their worst Super Rugby seasons ever, but Esterhuizen
is still expecting a tough assignment.
"It's their last game and
they haven't had a great year ... they're going to throw everything at us and
they've got nothing to lose. It's going to be big," he said.
Kick-off in Saturday is at 17:15.