Playmaker Jaco van der Walt is looking forward to the flyhalf battle with fellow South African Morne Steyn when Edinburgh take on the Vodacom Bulls on Saturday.
Steyn had only recently returned to South Africa following the overseas leg of the Rugby Championship before flying out to link up with the Bulls after Johan Goosen suffered a knee injury in Round 3 of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
Van der Walt, who grew up in Krugersdorp watching the South African goal-kicking ace, anticipated Steyn would be selected to face Edinburgh and was excited at the prospect of going head to head.
“I was very young when [Steyn] started playing. He’s a big legend in South African rugby. He’s been good for South African rugby so it will be good to play against him if he plays. It’s exciting,” he said.
Van der Walt, who joined Edinburgh from the Lions in 2017 and is now a Scotland international, is expecting another tough test against South African opposition after last week’s 20-20 draw at home to the Stormers.
“You can’t underestimate South African teams. They’re physical and they play good running rugby. All the South African teams definitely looked better last weekend.
“We can’t underestimate the Bulls. They’ll bring a different style of play to the Stormers but they’re a physical team as well with a bunch of big boys.”
The 27-year-old set up both of Edinburgh’s tries as they raced to a 14-0 lead after just six minutes against the Stormers, but he admits they must find a way to maintain such standards for longer.
“I loved that first 10 minutes. We just need an 80-minute performance like that now – that’s the challenge for this weekend.
“Every number 10 likes to play running rugby. It’s always nice to get a line-break or two, and if the team scores a try from it, it makes it so much sweeter.
“It was only my second game of the season. There’s still a long season ahead so I just want to try and keep that form and serve the team. It will be difficult to maintain that form but my confidence is high.”
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