United Rugby Championship: Johan Goosen lauds tournament challenge

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 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

It’s been yet another long road back for Bulls fly-half Johan Goosen, who is nearing a return to training and should make a comeback early next season.

The fly-half, who has had a roundabout journey in rugby from South Africa to Montpellier to Paris and back again, suffered a serious knee injury early in this season’s URC, just as he was working his way into Springbok contention.

Warning

While on the sidelines, Goosen has watched South African teams struggle to adapt to the intercontinental challenge and warns that next season, in the Champions Cup as well, will be an even stiffer hurdle.

“I played good rugby (earlier in the season) and I did well enough to get a mention at the Boks so it was sad when I was injured,” he said to South Africa’s Times.

“It starts over again now and I need to work hard and hopefully I can perform and play good rugby again.

“The target is to start the URC. I think I’m going to miss the first two or three matches. I still need to make the Bulls again because Chris [Smith] and Morne [Steyn] have been playing well. But it’s a good challenge for me and I’m looking forward to that.”

South African teams had a rough start to the URC but have been able to use the home advantage later in the season well enough that three of the four SA teams have made the quarter-finals.

That also means qualification for Europe’s biggest prize, but the challenge is not to be underestimated, as Goosen and his Bulls team-mates have been finding out.

“It’s been tough in Europe. I think a lot of South Africans thought it was going to be easy, but as we saw it’s been tough for the SA teams,” continued Goosen.

“But now we are doing really well, three of the four SA teams are in the quarterfinals. That’s great for SA rugby.

“(The Champions Cup) is really tough, I’ve played there and I’ve played in the final — it’s another level up from the URC. It’s nice to see where we are as the union.”

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The article United Rugby Championship: Johan Goosen lauds tournament challenge appeared first on Planetrugby.com.

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