Humble # inspires Hargreaves

Thu, 22 May 2014 12:12
Large hashim amla

Alistair Hargreaves hopes to follow the "quiet, humble" approach of former schoolboy cricket teammate Hashim Amla.

Alistair Hargreaves will hope to follow the "quiet, humble" approach of former schoolboy cricket teammate turned South Africa run-machine Hashim Amla should he play for Saracens in this weekend's European Cup Final.

Saracens captain Steve Borthwick's chest injury problems are threatening to sideline the former England skipper from what could be a memorable finish to his 16-year playing career by ruling him out of both Saturday's match against defending European champions Toulon in Cardiff and next weekend's English Premiership final with Northampton at Twickenham.

Borthwick now has to prove his fitness if he is to face Toulon at the Millennium Stadium, with four-times capped Springbok lock Hargreaves standing by to take his place in the second row if he fails to make the grade.

Locks are generally known for their physicality and aggression but former Sharks forward Hargreaves insisted playing cricket alongside the reserved Amla - known affectionally as the mighty Hash - at Durban High School had made a big impression on him.

"We had a proud cricketing history and I enjoyed being a bit of an all-rounder," Hargreaves said.

"I was selected for South African schools and made the decision to choose rugby and that's been the story ever since.

"Bowling at Hashim in the nets wasn't fun! His average was in something like the 90s as a schoolboy, and that's incredible.

"He's very quiet, humble, a very respectful guy and a hard worker. He's everything you'd want in a world-class sportsman.

"Guys like that, they definitely rub off on you as they grow up.

"How you grow up, the environments you're in and around, they definitely shape you, so I'd definitely like to think he's had some kind of impact on my rugby career, although not directly.

"Certainly spending time with him and seeing what sets people like that apart, it can only do you good in the long-run."

Looking ahead to the weekend, Hargreaves added: "Saturday's game probably is the biggest of my career, but I'll prepare the same as always to make sure I'm ready.

"You try not to let the occasion overwhelm you, so our preparation is pretty consistent.

"Mentally that helps me not to build it up too much in my head.

"Hopefully Steve will recover in time, we all want him to be able to finish in style.

"We all owe a duty to Steve, he's such a massive part of this club and the revolution of this club. In the back of the minds we'd like to send him off on the right note."

Hargreaves left his native Durban to join north Saracens in 2012 and has recently signed a new three-year deal with the north London club.

While playing his club rugby in England may not have been helpful to his Test prospects, Hargreaves said he'd no regrets about joining the 2011 Premiership champions.

"I'd played for the Sharks in Durban my whole career by the time I made the move," he said.

"I needed a change and a new challenge. I felt I was getting a bit stale, I had a few mates playing over here and they gave it rave reviews.

"I've absolutely loved my time here, it's been great.

"It was almost a spur of the moment decision to give it a shot but it's the best decision I've ever made."

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 29 April 2016
Force v Bulls 11h05 Perth
Boland v Griquas 12h30 Wellington
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 18h45 AJ Bell Stadium
Treviso v Connacht 19h30 Stadio Monigo
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Munster v Edinburgh 19h35 Irish Independent Park
Sat, 30 April 2016
Blues v Rebels 05h15 Auckland
Highlanders v Brumbies 07h35 Dunedin
Reds v Cheetahs 09h40 Brisbane
Border v Pumas 12h30 East London
Namibia v EP Kings 13h00 Windhoek
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 14h00 Welford Road
Western Province v Golden Lions 14h15 Newlands
Northampton Saints v Bath 14h15 Franklin's Gardens
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 14h30 Millennium Stadium
Ulster v Leinster 15h00 Kingspan Stadium
Lions v Hurricanes 15h05 Johannesburg
Dragons v Scarlets 17h00 Millennium Stadium
Stormers v Waratahs 17h10 Cape Town
Jaguares v Kings 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 01 May 2016
Exeter Chiefs v Wasps 12h00 Sandy Park
London Irish v Harlequins 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons 14h15 Allianz Park
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
EUROPEAN CUP
MORE LOGS
Pool 1
Team P W D L Pts
Saracens 6 6 0 0 28
Ulster 6 4 0 2 18
Oyonnax 6 1 0 5 7
Toulouse 6 1 0 5 5
Pool 2
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 6 3 0 3 16
Bordeaux 6 3 0 3 16
Ospreys 6 3 0 3 16
Clermont Auvergne 6 3 0 3 15
Pool 3
Team P W D L Pts
Racing Metro 6 4 1 1 22
Northampton Saints 6 4 1 1 19
Glasgow Warriors 6 3 0 3 14
Scarlets 6 0 0 6 2
Pool 4
Team P W D L Pts
Leicester Tigers 6 5 0 1 23
Stade Francais 6 4 0 2 19
Munster 6 3 0 3 15
Treviso 6 0 0 6 0
Pool 5
Team P W D L Pts
Wasps 6 4 0 2 20
Toulon 6 5 0 1 20
Bath 6 2 0 4 10
Leinster 6 1 0 5 6