SA Rugby’s 2022 Player of the Year Eben Etzebeth is not only the best in the country, but also the world, according to one of his Springbok teammates.
Etzebeth on Wednesday was named the best player in South Africa for the 2022 season, following a string of excellent performances by the experienced lock last year.
The 31-year-old, who made his 100th Test appearance against Wales last July, was the only player to play in all 13 of the Springboks’ fixtures in 2022.
Fitness-depending, Etzebeth is expected to be part of a powerful set of locks when the Springboks travel to France to defend their 2019 World Cup title.
Salmaan Moerat, who played under Etzebeth at the DHL Stormers, is another who could be on the plane, if he recovers from injury in time.
In an interview with BokSquad, the rising star second-rower credited Etzebeth for helping him develop as both a lock and a leader.
“When you think back to the guys who came before, Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha were players of a high calibre,” Moerat told BokSquad.
“Right now, we have such healthy competition for places in the national squad. If I had to single out one – a guy you’d mould your game on – it’d be Eben Etzebeth.
“He’s probably the best in the world at the moment,” Moerat added. “It’s been great coming through as a younger player, looking up to him. If you can rub shoulders with him [in a team environment] you’ll be in good stead.”
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images