Moerat opens up on Springbok call-up
SPOTLIGHT: Salmaan Moerat has opened up on his “special” Springbok call-up for the end-of-year tour.
The 23-year-old lock, who recovered from neck surgery earlier this year, is one of two uncapped players in the 32-man group. The other one is Sharks scrumhalf Grant Williams.
The Boks will kick off their tour in Cardiff next Saturday where they will line up against Wales in Cardiff before travelling to Edinburgh for the Test against Scotland at Murrayfield on November 13, and England at Twickenham on November 20.
Moerat enters the squad with a decorated career after making his way through the national junior structures, from the SA Rugby Youth Week tournaments to captaining the SA Schools team in 2016, and later the Junior Springboks in the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2018.
He has also made his mark in the senior structures at Western Province and the Stormers, where he was named as a co-captain for their recent United Rugby Championship tour.
“It has been really special [to be in the camp] and to join up with the guys.
“This is an ideal opportunity to get to know how they do things around here.
“I’ve been through the [SA Rugby Elite Player Development] system and have attended two training camps before, so I have seen what it takes to be in the national squad.
“I now have the opportunity to be here, and it is very special for me and my family, so I would like to do as well as I can if I get the chance [to play] and to learn as much as possible,” he added.
Moerat said he would take the tour in his stride, and if the opportunity arose to take make his Test debut, he intended to make the most of the opportunity.
“For me personally I would like to become a better player in the next three or four weeks and to learn as much as possible,” said Moerat.
“If I get the opportunity [to play] or not, I plan to enjoy this occasion as much as possible and take in as much as I can.”
With the Rugby World Cup to be hosted in France in 2023 and the training camp in Paris serving as a fantastic opportunity for the Boks to familiarise themselves with the conditions and environment in the country this time of the year.
Moerat said although it was one of their main goals in future, the focus on this tour was solely on the current tour.
“As a group we are focusing on the next four weeks,” Moerat added.
“We would like to play good rugby and get results, and that is where our attention lies.”
The Boks had their first two training sessions of the week on Monday and will remain in the French capital until Sunday. The European-based players in Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber’s squad will join up with the SA- and Japan-based players on Sunday.
Main photo: @Springboks