Life as a Springbok in the Premiership
SPOTLIGHT: Slowly but surely the Premiership has become a home away from home for many South African players.
Over the last two decades, South African talent has become a sought-after product in Europe.
Currently the French The Top14 is dominated by the likes of Cheslin Kolbe, Eben Etzebeth and in the past Bryan Habana, JP Pietersen and many more.
The Premiership has at least 45 South Africans across the 12 twelves teams, with Sale Sharks alone accounting for 11 of that number.
One of those 11 men is Springbok scrumhalf Francois de Klerk.
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The World Cup-winning scrumhalf joined the Manchester-based side in 2017 from the Lions.
Since then he has accumulated 70 caps for Sale and has been an integral part of their set-up.
Every week the feisty blond scrumhalf shows his sublime skills – including his solid defence – which helps Sale to numerous wins.
It seems like De Klerk’s success has also acted as a magnet for fellow South Africans to come to Sale or other clubs in the Premiership.
Secret to success
In a recent interview on the weekly Rugby Pod show with Andy Goode and Jim Hamilton, De Klerk revealed his secret to success in the Premiership.
“Players from South Africa need to buy into the English way of life, the culture and the language,” De Klerk said.
“For me, at first, it was just about getting to know Manchester and my surroundings. I started to travel around the UK, checking out the social scene and I think if you embrace it and not try to make it like South Africa, you will be happy.
“You have to embrace the cold and try to find ways to make it fun for yourself and even accept the weather”
He added: “There were a lot of English guys who helped myself [and Jono Ross] settle in.”