Following the Springboks’ World Cup success, Elton Jantjies has shifted his focus to Vodacom Super Rugby and mentoring the young flyhalves at the Lions.
Having achieved the biggest prize in the sport, after collecting a World Cup-winners medal in Japan, Jantjies is relishing being back at his franchise and sharing his experience with the talented, young players in the Lions squad.
Speaking to Brendan Nel for SuperSport.com, Jantjies revealed that he gained much knowledge from his time with the Boks at the World Cup, and is keen for the 25th season of Super Rugby to get under way.
‘I’m very excited, obviously we had a great experience as a group at the World Cup but that is over now and I’m looking forward to Super Rugby in 2020,’ said Jantjies. ‘Especially having a few new faces, young boys that can’t wait to learn, some boys who are busy with their second and some with their third season.
‘There is a little bit of continuity in our group although a lot of people say we are in a rebuilding phase. We have to look forward.’
Jantjies credited the Bok management team for their influence in the development of his own game and added that there is a lot he can share with the new additions to the squad.
‘There is definitely technical stuff from a rugby point of view that I want to bring back to the guys,’ said the 29-year-old. I believe in coach Rassie [Erasmus], coach Stix [Mzwandile Stick], coach Swys [de Bruin] and [head of athletic performance] Aled [Walters] and the medical team.
‘I’ve learned a lot from them and I make sure I write every little thing down in meetings. Things I’ve learned and things I can see and can implement and help us grow and move forward into 2020.’
Jantjies, who has over 100 Super Rugby appearances for the Lions, could be in line to take over the captaincy duties this season following Malcom Marx’s departure to Japan and Warren Whiteley being ruled out of contention through injury.
The Lions’ record points-scorer in Super Rugby admits that while he thoroughly enjoyed the Boks’ celebrations following their achievements in Japan, he immediately returned to training in preparation for the upcoming season.
‘I had a good celebration on the trophy tour sharing that with the country but then it’s back to training,’ said Jantjies. ‘I’ve been with my personal trainer and then with the guys in the camp.
‘I don’t believe in taking time off, but what excites me is going back to the team and seeing the youth in the camp and being able to contribute. I’m very excited.’
Jantjies is likely to feature for the Lions against the Vodacom Bulls this weekend at Super Hero Sunday, prior to a tough opening encounter of their Super Rugby campaign away at last season’s finalists the Jaguares.