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Jasper Wiese hoping to translate club form to the Springboks against Wales

Springboks No 8 Jasper Wiese is hoping to impress during the first Test against Wales at Loftus on Saturday.
Springboks No 8 Jasper Wiese is hoping to impress during the first Test against Wales at Loftus on Saturday.

Despite fierce competition, Springboks No 8 Jasper Wiese is planning to make an impression by translating his club form to the national team, starting with the first Test against Wales at Loftus on Saturday.

The 26-year-old rampaging loose forward was one of the best players for Leicester Tigers in England and was rewarded for his impressive performances with a place in the Premiership’s team of the season.

“I hope I can take my form into the Test matches. With fans back into stadiums and restrictions having been relaxed a bit, it definitely helps us a team a bit more,” he said.

“I want to take the opportunity this weekend and hopefully make the most of it. I will do everything to the best of my ability for the team. When you have about 60,000 people cheering you on in the stadiums helps a lot.”

Teams are building up to next year’s World Cup and the Springboks have enough stock among the loose forwards in injured Pieter-Steph du Toit, Marcell Coetzee, captain Siya Kolisi, Elrigh Louw, Evan Roos and Kwagga Smith.

“Obviously you want to put your name on the jersey and make it your own, but with the quality in the squad at the moment, it is difficult. It is big competition with guys like Kwagga Smith, Eben Etzebeth and Elrigh.

“They are all very good players, as you have seen in all the competitions they have played. I will try to do my best for the team and hopefully the results will speak for themselves.

“The quality we have among loose forwards is so high that if you don’t perform someone is going to take your spot.  You can’t sit back and think the position is yours. You have to continuously work hard to keep your position.”

Wiese, who arrived at Leicester Tigers from the Cheetahs ahead of the 2020/21 season and immediately caught eyes, said it is difficult to say whether he would have been selected if he stayed in the country.

“It is a difficult question to answer and you are putting me in a corner. It is difficult to say whether I could have been here with the Springboks if I didn’t go overseas. I can’t go back and change whatever happened.

“Everyone who is here goes through a selection process and at the end it is the call of the coaches to make, but if you are playing well in Japan, England, France or SA the coaches will see the hard work you put in.”

Wales coach Wayne Pivac has named uncapped Tommy Reffell at open-side flanker and Wiese is expecting a tough battle from his teammate.

“I play with him at Leicester. He is a great guy and an excellent playerl. I think he brings a lot of physicality in the tackle and breakdownl.

He has a massive heart and massive work rate. Taulupe Faletau is also an excellent player with lots of experience and we have to be prepared for them.”


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