Wednesday, June 7, 2023 | Herschel Jantjies hits stride in good time to reassert Bok... | Herschel Jantjies hits stride in good time to reassert Bok claim in URC final




  • Stormers No 9 Herschel Jantjies has chosen the best time to play himself back into form, especially with his team in the United Rugby Championship final.
  • Saturday’s opponents, Munster, have one of the best halfbacks in the game in the form of Conor Murray.
  • Jantjies, should he start, could seize the opportunity to remind those who need it of his Springbok credentials.

Stormers scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies has had to watch the Springbok scrumhalf berth shapeshift in his presence while his form has fluctuated.

His indifferent form for the Stormers has seen Paul de Wet shine, while the likes of Jaden Hendrikse and Grant Williams at the Sharks have made serious claims as Faf de Klerk’s backup at the Springboks.

This was evident when Jantjies wasn’t part of the Boks’ end-of-year tour squad, where the No 9 jersey rotated between De Klerk, Hendrikse and Cobus Reinach.

However, it has come as no surprise that a belated, but crucial upswing in form has allowed Jantjies to remind critics of his abilities.

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His experience will come in handy for the Stormers in Saturday’s United Rugby Championship semi-final against Munster at the Cape Town Stadium where the 27-year-old is just happy to get his basics right for his franchise before everything else.

“I try to improve every day and it’s not like I wake up and choose to have a bad season,” Jantjies said.

“I try my best every time I get onto the playing or the training field. I try to take every opportunity that comes my way.

“Sometimes, it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t, but I feel like I’m in a good space. I like the competitiveness in the squad and each day we try to challenge each other and make each other better.”

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While height has never been an issue for scrumhalves, Jantjies has the tall (1.88m) and imposing figure (93kg) of Conor Murray to deal with on Saturday.

Murray, who was declared fit and available for Saturday’s showpiece, has had to play second-fiddle to New Zealand-born halfback Jamison Gibson-Park, who has age on his side at 31 while Murray turned 34 last month.

Murray boasts more than a century of games for both club and country, along with being a regular British & Irish Lions tourist. There is no doubt that Jantjies will be paired up against a modern great of the game on Saturday.

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The significance of playing against and learning from Murray wasn’t lost on Jantjies.

“It’s going to be a nice challenge playing against Conor Murray,” Jantjies said.

“He’s played more than 100 games for his country. He’s an experienced player and he’s definitely someone I can learn from.”

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