Jantjies eager to impress Bok selectors

2016-02-17 17:59
Elton Jantjies (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Springbok and Lions flyhalf Elton Jantjies wants to prove his worth during Super Rugby this season.

In a South African rugby perspective, this is Jantjies’ biggest opportunity to stamp his authority in the flyhalf position.

With Handre Pollard and Pat Lambie - the flyhalves who were selected for the 2015 Rugby World Cup - both injured during this year’s pre-season schedule, Jantjies will be the most experienced candidate to compete for the Springbok No 10 jersey during Super Rugby this season.

Pollard (knee) is expected to spend the rest of the season on the sidelines, while Lambie (shoulder) is ruled out for about three months.

However, Jantjies has stressed that the onus is on him to earn a national call-up when Ireland tour South Africa from June 11 to 25.

“One can never count on other players being injured. I need to depend on my own performances this season to earn my opportunities,” Jantjies told MyPlayers.

“One of my biggest goals for the year ahead is to prove myself at Springbok level. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time in the national squad, but I’ve never had the opportunity to establish myself at Test level.

“This is my sixth season of senior rugby, and if I want to achieve this, I need to play consistently well during Super Rugby. I’ll need to be pinpoint when it comes to my game and decision-making. I want to master my own position.”

Jantjies added that he’s feeling confident during the Lions’ pre-season schedule after spending his second season in Japan with NTT Shining Arcs. However, the 25-year-old believes there’s always room for improvement.

“My first season in Japan was very good for my career. I came back stronger, fitter and better conditioned than before, which helped me take my game to the next level. I feel even better after my second season,” explained Jantjies.

“The game is played at a quick pace and a high intensity in Japan. The clubs also manage their players very well. Since my return to South Africa, I’m working hard with my coaches to continue my improvements. There are always areas in your game you can improve.

“I’m also working hard with my off-field coaches, who focus on my mental training and conditioning.”

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