Rugby World Cup-winning flyhalf Elton Jantjies has urged his fellow Springbok heroes to share their experiences of the tournament with their Super Rugby teammates ahead of the 2020 competition.
Jantjies said the World Cup players had plenty of knowledge to share of how the Boks went about their business in Japan.
“I’d like to see the individuals who were part of World Cup group go back to their unions and share what they have been through at that level,” said the Bok No 10, who will again don the colours of the Lions in next year’s Super Rugby competition.
“I’d like for those players to implement certain things at their unions. We all learnt a lot (at the World Cup) … being put in different situations, and it’s that kind of knowledge that we must all share around. We need to take those learnings back to our unions. We need to be selfless, not selfish.”
With regular Lions captain Warren Whiteley unavailable for the 2020 Super Rugby season because of injury and several other star players of recent times having departed, Jantjies will be a key man in the Lions set-up in 2020. He said he was excited about the challenges that lay ahead.
“There will be a lot of new faces (in the group), but most of the guys are going into their second season with the Lions, and a lot of them have played Currie Cup for two years now. And there are also some old faces, too … so it’s exciting times for us and for the fans. Sure, there will be some doubt among the fans, but I’m really looking forward to playing in Super Rugby again.”
Despite being a World Cup winner and playing in three Super Rugby finals, Jantjies scoffed at the idea that there wasn’t much left for him to achieve in the game. “It’s not hard at all to motivate myself,” he said. “I like to reset every year, focus on some small goals … there’s always room to be fitter, to kick better, attack better, make better decisions. I’m also going to be working with some new coaches next year; in sport you’re always evolving. I love rugby and the challenges it brings and that’s what drives me.
“I’ve been involved in Super Rugby for 10 years and I’m still learning, still growing. What’s important now is to get to know the (new) people around me, to help make them more comfortable and confident.”
Looking back at the World Cup journey, Jantjies said winning in Japan was very special. “I love that medal. It means a lot to me as an individual, but it also means a lot to the team and to the country.”