Springbok Jesse Kriel speaks from their camp last Thursday with Springbok Coach Jacques Nienaber on the physicality of playing in Japan and mentioned that although internationally there was a certain level of physicality where Tongans and Island Boys are not “ small “ the aspect of physicality has always been present, although it does not come close to a test match. Within the next few weeks the Springboks would be working towards maintaining that level.
Being part of the tour and test match history is very special for Jesse Kriel.
“My great grandfather played for the Lions, so this tour is a very personal one for me and if you go back to 2009 I was still in school back then and great memories of the Jacque Fourie try and Morne Steyn obviously kicking the penalty over, it’s great to have a guy like him on the squad so yes it is very special and like Jacques mentioned earlier on this opportunity only comes once in a players career so I think everyone is going to make the best of the opportunity ” says Kriel.
“when you look at the Steyn’s, there’s the expectation that experienced guys would always be talking and giving advise,“ Kriel said.
In terms of youth development in South African rugby Kriel mentions that it is phenomenal to see another player from the same school who is much younger that he is at the alignment camp this year and especially all the youth players who accede to the system . This means the grassroot system is working in South Africa and organization and players are noticing more players are putting up their hands to show their potential “ The younger guys are getting great opportunities at the highest level to showcase what they can offer,“ said Kriel.
The main focus for individuals in the Springbok squad is to match the element the British Irish Lions brings to the competition, in terms of their selection he stated that each player brings a world class play to the team and it is the responsibility of the Springboks to be prepared and match and enhance their skills and game plan. The Springboks will be working hard at their system and that which encompasses the effectiveness of the system.
In terms of his past injury there is no “ unfinished business “ said Kriel, as this is a new challenge and competition and he would like to contribute within a positive way.
Source: Fatima Said