‘Competitive’ De Jongh still has Bok ambition

Juan de Jongh says there is still plenty he wants to achieve after signing a deal with the Stormers to return to the Cape in July.

Springbok midfielder De Jongh, who lifted the Currie Cup at Newlands in 2014, has 97 Stormers caps and played 59 times for Western Province before moving to English Premiership side Wasps in 2017.

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The experienced centre, who hails from Wellington, made his Stormers debut in 2010 and went on to earn 19 Test caps for the Springboks and represented the Springbok Sevens team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games before leaving to play in England.

In an interview with Shafiek Mouton on the radio station KC 107.7 show ‘Op die Hoofpawiljoen’, the 33-year-old De Jongh outlined that he still has ambitions to achieve more silverware with the Stormers and earn a place in the Springbok set-up.

‘Definitely,’ De Jongh answered when asked if he still has Springbok ambitions. ‘I am very competitive as a person. The reason I am coming back is obviously that I want to achieve.

‘I want to play more than 100 games for the Stormers. Hopefully, in God’s will, I can play against the British & Irish Lions, as well as for the Springboks. When I began, my dream was to play 50-plus Tests and I am on 19 now.

‘But it is important for me to focus on myself as an individual, to make sure that I am in good shape and stay in good shape, that I play good rugby and have an influence whenever I play. Hopefully, I can firstly get a starting position at the Stormers and then play rugby that is good enough to get Rassie and Jacques’ interest.

‘If it is destined to be, then I will take it as it comes. But firstly, my focus is on playing my last few games at Wasps and then playing good rugby for the Stormers. I don’t want to be looking too far into the future.’

The last of De Jongh’s Test caps came against the All Blacks in Durban in 2016. He also represented the country at the 2011 World Cup, where he made two appearances as a substitute as the Springboks were knocked out at the quarter-final stage.

Photo: Sandra Mu/Getty Images

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