Faf de Klerk: Scrum-half confident Japan move won’t derail Springboks career

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

South Africa scrum-half Faf de Klerk insists that playing in Japan’s top division will not harm his chances of being selected for the national team.

The livewire half-back has been the Springboks’ first choice over the past few years, but his form has dipped and that allowed Jaden Hendrikse to usurp him for the decider against Wales.

Hendrikse impressed in the 30-14 victory and, as a result, could be the preferred option for the start of the Rugby Championship.

The 22-year-old also plays at home for the Sharks, perhaps giving him another edge over De Klerk, who has joined Canon Eagles in Yokohama.

It will certainly be easier on the body for the Rugby World Cup winner, but he will miss out on the intense battles that Premiership and European rugby brings.

“As long as I play well, I’ll still be in the mix with the Springboks,” he told reporters.

“If you look at the quality of players here that play for the Springboks, I think the coaches can see how well the guys are adapting over here and how well they are playing,

“I think it might just show the quality of the league now so I don’t think that’s a worry.”

Leaving Sale Sharks

De Klerk left Sale Sharks after five years with the English outfit and the 30-year-old is excited about what his new experience will bring.

“I’m definitely looking forward to a new challenge. If you get comfortable in life, you stop growing,” he said.

“I really think I can still improve my game a lot so this is another big challenge for me and one that I’m very excited to take on.

“You don’t play as much rugby in League One as you do in Europe or South Africa, so you can stay fresher and play longer in Japan,” he said.

“Everybody loves it, the culture is amazing.”

Several current South African internationals ply their trade in Japan and De Klerk is looking forward to winding a few of them up, especially one of the members of the ‘Bomb Squad’.

“Maybe Malcolm Marx, I’m very good friends with him. I’ll see if I can make him angry and he’ll make some mistakes,” he added.

READ MORE: Jacques Nienaber says Springboks’ 6/2 split almost backfired in decisive Test

The article Faf de Klerk: Scrum-half confident Japan move won’t derail Springboks career appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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