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VIDEO: 'He might take over from Eben'

SPOTLIGHT: Springbok legend Victor Matfield is backing Jason Jenkins to take over the Springbok No.4 jersey from Eben Etzebeth one day.

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The 28-year-old lock has been in Ireland since 2021. The former Bulls lock joined Munster in 2021 before heading to fellow Irish giants Leinster in 2022.

The big man has produced a number of standout performances for Leo Cullen’s side over the last couple of seasons and he will be heading back to South Africa at the end of the season to join the Sharks.

Matfield, who was one of Jenkins’ mentors, believes the Leinster lock has all the attributes to become South Africa’s next ‘enforcer’.

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“When I retired the first time, I coached him and RG Snyman as 19-year-old boys,” Matfield told media during a URC round table this week.

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“I must say I was very impressed. He only started playing rugby as a 16-year-old.

“He is a big strong boy who likes to get on the front foot.

“I actually thought he would have been in the Springbok squad for the World Cup last year. I was very surprised when he didn’t make it.

“He is coming back to South Africa and I think we will see him in a Springbok jersey pretty soon.

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“He is a guy that might take over from Eben Etzebeth as that hard worker and that enforcer by just being in your face.

“We could see him getting back to partnering with RG Snyman. They are very good mates as well.

“I think he [Jenkins] is a fantastic player and he has a very high workrate, good skill set and he likes to get stuck in as well.

“He is that real No.4 type of forward you would like in your team.”

Matfield added: “He’ll be in the No.4 jumper probably just after Eben.”

Jenkins is currently on tour with Leinster in South Africa for United Rugby Championship matches against the Lions and Stormers.

@rugby365com

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