In the new issue of SA Rugby magazine, Elton Jantjies lifts the lid on how he has learned to contend with criticism and block out any negativity. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
Jantjies has been a regular in the national set-up since making his Test debut against the Wallabies at Loftus in 2012. To this day he remains a polarising figure, but the mercurial flyhalf takes it all in his stride.
In the new issue of SA Rugby magazine, the 29-year-old says he won’t be hamstrung or influenced by ‘outside noise’.
‘We have over 50 million people in South Africa. Some of them like me, some don’t and I can’t control that,’ Jantjies says. ‘I’m not selfish or self-centred, but I know myself and I won’t be influenced by outside noise. I deal with the negativity by blocking it out.’
‘I’m my own person and have my own way of doing things. If I had to listen to people who are sitting on the outside and pointing fingers, I’d never be able to play Super Rugby or Test rugby and I’d be just like them …’
Jantjies claims that it was during his stint at the Shining Arcs in Japan in 2014 that he learned to appreciate and value the importance of his Lions and Springbok teammates.
‘I’ve been in the Lions’ system since I was 17 and I’ve been playing for the Springboks for seven years. Not a lot of people can say that. But I can honestly say I’ve started to appreciate the importance of my Lions and Springbok teammates. What they think matters.’
Jantjies also opened up about his breach of team protocol during a Vodacom Super Rugby match against the Sharks earlier this year, admitting that he had made a error of judgement.
‘I don’t know why I did it, I can’t really explain. But yes, I was dropped for making decisions individually in a Super Rugby game against the Sharks.’
It has been an eventful year for Jantjies and we still have the World Cup to come.
Read more about his family life and the sacrifices his loved ones have to make for him to reach his dream of being the best, his relationship with Rassie Erasmus, his view on the new contracting system, his new role within the Lions set-up, the status of his contract negotiations, his love of luxury sports cars and his take on being branded a bad boy of South African rugby in the new issue of the magazine.
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