Golden Lions lock Franco van der Merwe has waited 18 months for the magical Springbok call-up and he has greeted it with the requisite excitement, saying he wouldn’t mind going to the north pole to represent the Springboks.
“I would take a test match at any place. I would play in the North Pole if I have to, but to play at Ellis Park is special, it is going to be amazing,” said Van der Merwe.
“Its been a year and a half and it has been a dream of mine to play for the Springboks. I don’t think the dream ends with an All Blacks test, but it’s almost like a final. Not everyone gets to play a test against the All Blacks.”
Going up against the All Blacks line-out will not be the easiest thing on debut, but that is something Van der Merwe is primed for.
Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick are not the most experienced locks going around, but they are very competent jumpers.
They may be nothing new for Van der Merwe, having dealt with them at Super Rugby level, but it will still be a challenge, something he said he was ready for.
“I need to be in the right positions and I will have to make the calls. If there are only 15 minutes left in a tight game, that will be a vital call to make,” Van der Merwe said.
“Even though I’m happy with my form, there are things that I can work on and improve on but I am happy where I am now.”
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