Giant Sharks lock wants to play like Bakkies
Cape Town - Sharks lock JJ van der Mescht says he wants to be a 'Bakkies Botha-type' of player for the Durban franchise in Super Rugby.
In an interview with the Rugby Rocks website, the 20-year-old said he discussed his role with new Sharks coach Sean Everitt.
"I'm a physical player so I can play an 'enforcer' role for the Sharks as a No 4 lock, similar to Bakkies Botha. But I'll do whatever the team needs me to do."
Botha, the former Bulls and Springbok star, was known in his playing days as a robust lock and the type of player you'd rather want in your team than against.
And at 2.00m and 132kg, Van der Mescht fits into that frame. In comparison, the 2.02m Botha weighed around the 120-125kg mark at the peak of his powers.
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Van der Mescht made his Super Rugby debut for the Sharks in April, before starring for the Junior Springboks at the World Rugby U20 Championship in Argentina in June.
He turned heads when he scored a 45m try in South Africa's 25-17 win over New Zealand in the semi-finals (see below).
The youngster was also earlier this week nominated for the SA Rugby Young Player of the Year award alongside Curwin Bosch, Herschel Jantjies, S'bu Nkosi and Damian Willemse.
Regarding his future plans, the former Glenwood High School pupil added: "Seeing the Boks win the World Cup in Japan made me want to represent my country at a World Cup and win a World Cup."
- Compiled by Herman Mostert