South Africa ‘A’: Johan Goosen delighted to be back in green and gold

Johan Goosen SA v Australia 2016 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy
Johan Goosen SA v Australia 2016 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

South Africa ‘A’ fly-half Johan Goosen is looking forward to representing his country again ahead of Thursday’s clash against Munster in Cork.

The 30-year-old said although he expects a tough challenge against the Irish province, he is relishing the prospect of facing them in front of their fanatical fans at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Strong South Africa ‘A’ side

Goosen will be part of a matchday squad which features 14 players who have represented the Springboks at international level and he forms a half-back partnership with 2019 Rugby World Cup-winning scrum-half Herschel Jantjies.

“It doesn’t matter in what form of green and gold one plays in,” Goosen told the Springboks’ official website.

“It could be the SA Schools team or SA ‘A’ team, it’s always an honour to play for this badge. Hopefully we have a good game on Thursday and make the country proud.”

Goosen made his debut for the Springboks against Australia in 2012 but his career has been hampered by injuries which means he has only played for his country on 13 occasions and his last Test appearance was against Wales in 2016.

He was full of praise for his South Africa ‘A’ team-mates and is excited to see what they can deliver as a team against Munster.

“There was a lot of travel to get here, but I’m excited to play with this bunch of guys. This is a great opportunity for the players. They are a great group, and they are very talented,” he added.

“It’s going to be a big match against Munster, and the first 20 minutes will be tight, so it will be important to stay in the fight, and hopefully we’ll be able to see the young players express themselves.

“The Vodacom Bulls played against them a few weeks ago in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship, so some of us have had a taste of what to expect from them in this match.”

A serious knee injury in 2021 denied him the chance of representing his country at the highest level again and Goosen revealed that he is still determined to play for the current world champions again.

“I was out for the last 11 or 12 months with a knee injury and it was challenging for me both mentally and physically,” he added.

In a good place

“But mentally I’m now in a good place and my mindset is right. I have a passion for the Springboks and playing for the team, but I also understand that things are not necessarily going to come right in one game. That said I’m very happy to be here, and that is the most important thing to me.”

Goosen also had advice for young players who receive an opportunity to play for the Springboks, saying: “The big thing for young players getting an opportunity to play in the green and gold is to enjoy it and soak up every moment.”

READ MORE: South Africa ‘A’: Thomas du Toit to captain side with 14 internationals against Munster

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