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Jantjies 100 percent driven to revive Bok career

SPOTLIGHT: Stormers scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies hopes to regain his best form in his quest to return to the international scene.

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Jantjies was one of 11 Stormers players included in the Springboks’ two-day alignment camp held in Cape Town two weeks ago.

After bursting onto the international arena in 2019, scoring a brace of tries against Australia during the Rugby Championship on debut and being part of the triumphant 2019 World Cup-winning squad, his Springboks career took a dip.

The 27-year-old had a frustrating period due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a fractured leg. He eventually failed to make the cut for the Springboks 2023 World Cup squad in France.

The Bok management opted for Faf de Klerk, Jayden Hendrikse, Grant Williams and Cobus Reinach as the scrumhalf options for the tournament.

When asked about his Springbok hopes, Jantjies said he is determined to revive his international career, but revealed the actual hard work starts at the Stormers.

“I’m 100 percent driven to get a Springbok call-up,” Jantjes told reporters.

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“However for me, the most important thing at the moment is to play well for the Stormers.

“I have to deliver my best for the franchise and then [national call-up] will take care of itself.”

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The home stretch

Jantjies is expected to start when the Stormers take on Edinburgh on Saturday at the Cape Town Stadium.

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The Stormers’ last match at home was in December, therefore this Saturday’s encounter against fourth-placed Edinburgh is a perfect opportunity to get back on track following the 22-40 defeat to the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Round 11.

“It’s always special to play at home, especially with the vibe it gives us an extra edge over an opposing team,” the No.9 said.

“We saw the turnout at Loftus [against the Bulls] and I know the result didn’t go our way but it was amazing. I think if we can get a full or close to full stadium it will be just as amazing.

“Hopefully we can reward the people with quality rugby and get the result.”

He added: “The great thing about this competition is that there is always room for improvement; we’ve addressed some things in training and [Edinburgh] is a nice challenge for us and hopefully we can rectify those challenges.”

The defeat to the Bulls put a little pressure on the Stormers, who are currently in ninth place in the URC table.

However, Jantjies believes that the two-week break which included a friendly against Premiership Northampton Saints in England has been good in preparing the Capetonians for the Scottish side.

“Going to Loftus, there was a lot of stuff before the game that was out of our control – the game starting late and stuff [due to adverse weather conditions] – which is obviously not an excuse,” Jantjies said.

“But there were a lot of things that happened that I think we could’ve controlled a lot better, stuff that we as players can sort out.

“Also, getting a start. I don’t think we started off too well. We stuck in well for the way that we started, but towards the back end, the Bulls sort of ran away with the game.

“A lot of technical stuff that we can work on, which we did. Last week [against Northampton in England in a friendly] was really insightful for us, and a big learning for us. In future, it is something that we shouldn’t stumble upon again.

“I think having that week of prep and now this week is a good time for us to execute the plans we talked about. I don’t think we’re too far off and I feel like we’re getting our spark back. This weekend is an opportunity to be better than our last game.”

The Stormers will name their team to face Edinburgh on Friday.

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