A Rampaging Bull
First a brutal derby against the Stormers, then a gruelling three-Test series against fierce rivals England, and then straight back into Super Rugby action with a clash against local foes the Cheetahs - it’s been a busy five weeks for Bulls lock Juandre Kruger!
But the big number five could not be happier, because after starting all three Test matches against the English, his star is on the rise in South Africa and if his form against the Cheetahs last weekend is anything to go by, he is not going to give up the Bok jersey without a fight.
Kruger not only made his debut for the Boks during the series, but he was also handed the role of managing the line-outs, while forming a second row with fellow debutant Stormers lock Eben Etzebeth. Talk about a trial by fire. He not only came through the test, he came through it with his reputation enhanced.
“Playing for the Springboks was an unbelievable experience,” he told iafrica.com.
“The coaching staff made it easy to perform. We played some of the best rugby we have ever played and it was the coaching staff that brought that out of us. We were prepared well and went into the games with confidence. That’s what you want as a player.
“It was a fantastic environment to be a part of and each player can be really thankful for that. The players coming back are better players.”
While he is getting plenty of plaudits, the Bulls lock is quick to praise his fellow locks – Etzebeth and Flip van der Merwe – as well.
He is also quick to credit new Bok coach Heyneke Meyer for his role.
“For me, it was an unbelievable experience to play under him. You learn a lot as a player under him. He is a people’s person and the lessons are not just about rugby, but life as well. That is very important.”