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EXCLUSIVE: One-on-one with Ryan Oosthuizen

WATCH as @rugby365com reporter Angus Opperman sits down with BlitzBok stalwart Ryan Oosthuizen as they chat about qualifying for the Paris Olympics.

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In an open and honest interview – Oosthuizen speaks about the BlitzBoks’ new defensive approach, and the unique pressure to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

He also had a special message for the supporters and naysayers.

He stated that they recognized they needed to change their defensive system from what most teams use – as they have the speed to back it up and how it paid off in Monaco.

“Being a smaller team, we need to be seven in a line,” the 29-year-old told @rugby365com.

“I think it clicked now.

“It clicked in Monaco.

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“I think the guys knew where they were in the system and what their roles and expectations were,” Oosthuizen added.

The article continues below the interview…

When asked what kept the group together to maintain the belief that they could make it to Paris, Oosthuizen praised interim head coach Philip Snyman for providing clarity and certainty. He also stated that he feels that they’re getting back to their best.

“It starts with the coach, the coach made it very clear who’s his group, who’s the 12 guys or 16 guys, we normally practice with 16 guys and you kind of know where you stand in terms of rankings,” Oosthuizen said.

He added: “We need to put the system first again like we normally do and whenever we put the system first that’s when normally we succeed.

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“We’re slowly turning the table, we’re slowly getting back to where we were,” he said.

When asked about the tough pool they’re in at the Paris Olympics, with Ireland and New Zealand in it along with Japan – he didn’t mince his words and conceded that it will be a tough, but not an impossible assignment and that anything can happen on the day.

“You can’t be naive at the fact that Ireland has been beating us.

“We’re wary of Ireland and Japan and New Zealand but in the same sense, they need to be wary of us.”

He also had a special message for their loyal supporters as well as for the naysayers ahead of the big tournament.

“Thank you for the loyalty, thank you for sticking with us, like I said I think we’re on the right path”

He also added: “A lot of the haters will be silenced”

“You see the comments and you see the hate that’s thrown to our side.

“You have to take it with a pinch of salt.

“Supporters have their opinions, but sometimes they don’t have a full picture of what’s going on inside the system.”

@AngyboyJ

@rugby365com

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