One of two uncapped players in the Springbok squad, lock Salmaan Moerat says his call-up was special and he wants to learn as much as possible during the tour of the United Kingdom.
The physical lock earned his first call-up to the national squad last week after recovering from neck surgery and he was delighted to make the journey to Paris with his new teammates, where they will have a one-week training camp to prepare for the Test matches against Wales, Scotland and England.
The Boks will kick off their tour in Cardiff next Saturday where they will line up against Wales at the Principality Stadium (6 November) before travelling to Edinburgh for the Test against Scotland at Murrayfield on 13 November, and England at Twickenham on 20 November.
Moerat has already had a decorated youth career, having made his way through SA Rugby’s junior structures. From playing in the SA Rugby Youth Week tournaments to captaining the SA Schools team in 2016, he later led Junior Springboks in the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2018.
“It has been really special [to be in the camp] and to join up with the guys,” Moerat said.
“This is an ideal opportunity to get to know how they do things around here.
“I’ve been through the [SA Rugby Elite Player Development] system and have attended two training camps before, so I have seen what it takes to be in the national squad.
“I now have the opportunity to be here, and it is very special for me and my family, so I would like to do as well as I can if I get the chance [to play] and to learn as much as possible,” he added.
Moerat said he would take the tour in his stride, and if the opportunity arose to take make his Test debut, he intended to make the most of the opportunity.
“For me personally, I would like to become a better player in the next three or four weeks and to learn as much as possible,” said Moerat.
“If I get the opportunity [to play] or not, I plan to enjoy this occasion as much as possible and take in as much as I can.”
With the World Cup to be hosted in France in 2023 and the training camp in Paris serving as a fantastic opportunity for the Boks to familiarise themselves with the conditions and environment in the country this time of the year, Moerat said although it was one of their main goals in future, the focus on this tour was solely on the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour.
“As a group we are focusing on the next four weeks,” said Moerat.
“We would like to play good rugby and get results, and that is where our attention lies.”
The Boks had their first two training sessions of the week on Monday and will remain in the French capital until Sunday. The European-based players in Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber’s squad will join up with the SA- and Japan-based players on Sunday.
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