Surprised Goosen just wants to play

Johan Goosen is more than willing to play fullback on the Boks' end-of-year tour, reports GAVIN MORTIMER in Paris.

Sunday evening wasn’t shaping up to be the most significant night of Goosen’s young life.

The 22-year-old was in Italy with the Racing Métro squad, watching from the bench as Jonathan Sexton produced a polished performance to steer the French club to a 26-10 win over Treviso in the European Champions Cup. Goosen got on at the death – for all of three minutes – but the evening ended in celebratory style nonetheless.

'I got a text from my agent telling me I was in the Bok squad for next month,' Goosen told in the foyer of the Racing clubhouse just hours later.

The Racing squad didn’t arrive back in Paris until the early hours of Monday morning so one might have expected to meet a bleary-eyed Goosen. Not a bit of it. The news of his inclusion for next month’s Test matches against Ireland, England, Italy and Wales had Goosen bright-eyed and brimming with bonhomie.

'It was a big surprise,' he admitted. 'The last time I was in the Bok camp was in June and Heyneke Meyer said to me it would be difficult to pick me because I’d be playing in France. He said he would pick Morné Steyn but he’s picked us both.'

Though Goosen says the call-up came out of the blue he had an inkling he was still in Meyer’s thoughts last week.

'I got a call [from Saru] on Tuesday or Wednesday, asking about my visa situation. I thought maybe they were checking on it in case I was needed as an injury replacement next month. I didn’t think they were intending to pick me.

'Then I got the text and the question “would I be willing to play 15?” I tell you, I can play anywhere for the Boks. If they want me on the flank, I’ll give it a go. I just want to play.'

Photo: Thierry Zoccolan/AFP Photo

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