VIDEO: Jantjies ready to raise the bar at Pau
WATCH as World Cup-winning Springbok flyhalf Elton Jantjies speaks ahead of his first training session with French club Pau.
Jantjies arrived in the scenic city of Pau, capital of Béarn and overlooking the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, just a week ago.
He said he was looking forward to his first outing with the Top 14 outfit – currently second from last in the standings, but safe in the top echelon of French rugby.
Pau is 34 points clear of the winless Agen, scheduled to be relegated from the Top 14 at the end of the season.
With the Top 14 on a break this week, as a result of the European Cup semifinals, Pau travels to Agen next Saturday, May 8, where they will face the bottom dwellers at Stade Armandie.
Jantjies was in solitary confinement since his arrival, part of the country’s COVID-19 protocols.
His first week was met by ‘nice sunny weather’, but it changed dramatically on his arrival at training.
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“[I am] adjusting quite quickly,” Jantjies said, adding that he is getting on well with his new teammates.
“I am really looking forward to getting out on the pitch, preparing and playing in the next few weeks.”
Jantjies joined Pau on loan in preparations for the British and Irish Lions Series.
Given the lengthy injury layoff by first-choice Bok flyhalf Handré Pollard, Jantjies has been regarded as a good bet to start when South Africa play against the British and Irish Lions in July.
The 30-year-old Bok No.10 – who started in two matches in the victorious 2019 World Cup campaign – has played 37 Tests for South Africa.
Jantjies said in an earlier interview his desire to feature against the British and Irish Lions in July was behind his move to France.
“It’s a massive motivation,” Jantjies told AFP after arriving in southwest France.
“It comes every 12 years, it only comes once or maybe twice in a career. It’s something as a schoolboy you dream of.
“It’s quite special. I remember watching in 2009, back in the day. It’s going to be a tough ask for us as a team. I feel we’ve got the squad to do it,” he added.
Jantjies will be competing with first-choice flyhalf Handré Pollard, who has been out since September with a serious knee injury, for a starting berth later this year.
The pair could face each other for in early June during the last game of the regular French season with Pollard’s Montpellier heading to Stade du Hameau.
“We need ‘Polly’ in the squad. I spoke to him a few days ago, with me coming to France. It will be good to be in the squad with him for the British and Irish Lions,” said Jantjies, who played in two World Cup pool games for the Boks in Japan: the 57-3 victory over Namibia and 66-7 thrashing of Canada.
“Hopefully I’ll see him over the next few weeks playing for his club and then the Springboks.
“I’m not an individual-based guy. I have to reach my own individual standards and it makes me happy. If I perform well for Pau and during the Springbok preparation the jersey is in the coaches’ hands.”
✍️ Le demi d’ouverture Elton Jantjies rejoint la Section en tant que joueur supplémentaire jusqu’à la fin de la saison !
— SectionPaloise (@SectionPaloise) April 13, 2021
✅ Elton Jantjies est bien arrivé à Pau !
⌚️ Actuellement à l’isolement, notre futur n°10 n’a pas le temps de s’ennuyer : préparation physique, intégration des plans de jeu…
— SectionPaloise (@SectionPaloise) April 21, 2021