JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Jacques Potgieter fulfils wish linking with Waratahs in Super Rugby

Man mountain: Waratahs recruit Jacques Potgieter trains on Tuesday.

Man mountain: Waratahs recruit Jacques Potgieter trains on Tuesday. Photo: Wolter Peeters

Jacques Potgieter aims to prove that he is a blue-blooded Waratah who is driven by the goal of helping NSW win their first Super Rugby title.

But on Tuesday, the 27-year-old South African forward who has signed with NSW for two years said he was still very much a Springbok as well. ''As a rugby player you always want to play for your country. You always want to play at the highest level you can. I still have that ambition,'' said Potgieter, whose career includes three Tests caps and 23 in Super Rugby.

Potgieter, who is 194 centimetres and 115 kilograms and joined NSW from the Fukuoka Sanix Blues in Japan where he played for a short stint after leaving the Bulls in South Africa last year, said he has not spoken to Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer since arriving in Sydney last month.

But with the South African Rugby Football Union's openness to consider overseas based players for Test selection - unlike Australian Rugby Union policy - Potgieter said he spoke with the Springbok coach ''before I went to Japan''.

''He said, 'Best of luck,' and 'Look after yourself'. I haven't spoken to him [since], but if you are playing good enough, they can't leave you out. [However], my focus is [on] settling in with the Waratahs and then doing my best for the team and then everything will look after that.''

Potgieter's Springbok goals should not concern Waratahs coach Michael Cheika, who signed him foremost as a second-rower and for his physicality, ball skills and athleticism. He just needs to him to ready fighting fit for NSW. And that is what Cheika hopes he will see on Friday night when Potgieter plays in the Waratahs' last trial against the Highlanders in Newcastle.

Potgieter said he has ''always wanted to play for the Waratahs, especially from last year - watching them play [with] the new style … a physical game and they swing the ball out wide. They [also] have good history.'' Cheika's in-your-face manner as a head coach has certainly not put off Potgieter. He is accustomed to old-school coaching in South Africa.

On Tuesday, he recalled pre-season training camps with his old Currie Cup team, the Eastern Province Kings - and not the Bulls, as Waratahs captain Dave Dennis thought last week - when the team would be woken up without warning at ''three or four in the morning'' for training. ''We used to train hard and unexpected hours just to [learn to] be ready,'' he said.

Potgieter is certainly ''ready'' for his first game for NSW after having completed his second successive training run with the Waratahs on Tuesday - since his arrival in Sydney, he bided his time to recover from a calf niggle.

''I'm feeling very good. I am up with [the game plans] and looking forward to it,'' he said.

While a known back-rower, Potgieter has no qualms about playing at lock either. ''I told Michael I am a team player, whatever he reckons is the best for the team I will play that position. I will be up for the challenge,'' he said.

''I will give it 100 per cent whether it is lock, whether it's No.8 or blindside, I'll play anywhere.''

Of course, Potgieter will still bring the trademark physicality of South African rugby to the Waratahs, even if he says it is not a trait of the Australian game.

13 comments so far

  • I am sure Potgieter is a useful player and may make the SA squad again, but surely since Australia only selects its squad from players domiciled in Australia, unlike SA, why in the hell would the ARU allow a a SA to play for an Australian S15 team. 100% of all Australian S15 spots should be those who qualify to become a Wallaby. The ARU need to make up their minds, rethink their policies so they are more consistent.

    Commenter
    Simon_Sez
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    February 12, 2014, 6:45AM
    • Potgieter!! Now that's a good solid Dinky Di' name if I ever saw one!

      Simon Sez'! You're exactly correct mate, but the Aussie Super franchises are chock full of New Zealanders, (ones that can't cut it in their home teams) as they stand, so I'd imagine that Mr. Potgieter would be in the same category, can't cut in South Africa so head for ''good old OZ, they'll accept anybody!

      Niceties go out the window mate and you're spot on in saying that "any player selected for S15 spots should be those who qualify to be a Wallaby", but it won't ever happen because if that theory was enforced there wouldn't be a competitive S15 side in the competition as it'd mean that all the New Zealanders and others wouldn't be able to play either.

      Cheers mate, "good post".

      Commenter
      kirky
      Date and time
      February 12, 2014, 11:01AM
    • I hardly think having one overseas marquee player in your team constitutes a problem for Australian rugby. Take a look at the French Top 14 comp - now there it's a real issue. Don't forget that Australian players go to France and Japan for the money so if we plug the occasional gap with an overseas player then fair enough.

      Commenter
      DaveyBoy
      Location
      Forestville
      Date and time
      February 12, 2014, 11:18AM
    • Agree, and I think this is one of the reasons why the All Blacks players are developed so well and seamlessly integrate at the highest level. Because they identify their young players well, they develop them and they back them. They don't look at overseas players. Potgieter may be great for the Tahs' title aspirations, but will take the spot of a young, up and coming player that may be good enough by next year for the world cup squad. Someone like Will Skelton, Greg Peterson or Jed Holloway.

      Commenter
      Phil
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      February 12, 2014, 12:33PM
    • Spot. On. Potgetter is just another typical Saffa. All p.... and wind. Blah blah blah we are so tuff and blah blah again. They aren't smart enough or fast enough to be real threats. Why are we helping to develop Springboks for South Africa ?. Cheika needs to check his Australian loyalometer (don't try to pronounce this at home)

      Commenter
      johnny-boy
      Date and time
      February 12, 2014, 3:23PM
    • Because he is a class player that the waratahs have missed since their inception as a club. Out of all the positions in australian rugby, lock is our weakest, we have bloody Rob Simmons starting in our best XV, THAT is saying something. Also, I don't believe the ARU is against any aussie team actually trying to win super 15, the key to the waratahs winning this year is the work of the forwards like Potgieter, Skelton and Hooper opening the gateway for the backs to bring it home.

      Commenter
      phil
      Date and time
      February 12, 2014, 11:17PM
    • Have you even watched Super rugby before Simon? Australia simply don't have the playing stocks to fill their own teams. Hell, half of the Wallabies weren't even born in the country, so where do you draw the line? Add to that the lure of French / Japan rugby and you have even less choice.
      Imagine the Force having only local players available to them, because Australians aren't exactly lining up from the eastern states to go West. Why do you think they have 8 or so Saffers in the squad this year.

      Commenter
      Ted
      Date and time
      February 13, 2014, 12:48PM
    • @ johnny-boy -- "helping to develop Springboks for South Africa"!!!!

      Potgieter is already a Springbok AND played for a Super-15 team that has won the title 3 times before he decided to see the world -- Japan and now Australia.

      So what development is there for him by joining a team with a lot of huff-and-puff BUT that is about it (NO TITLES) -- I think the opposite is true, damaging his career to come and play for a losing team!!!

      Commenter
      oclee62
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      February 13, 2014, 4:56PM
  • Well, Simon, you will no doubt be shocked to learn that the Brumbies have two new South African players for 2014 (Conrad Hoffman and Lionel Cronjé) and the Western Force have at least seven (Marcel Brache, Chris Heiberg, Brynard Stander and Wilhelm Steenkamp in the main squad, and Dillyn Leyds, Dylan Sage and Francois van Wyk in the wider training squad). The reality is that Australia simply doesn't have the players required to field five teams.

    Commenter
    Mike
    Date and time
    February 13, 2014, 7:54AM
    • I watch a ton of Super rugby (saw nearly every fixture in 2012 and 2013), that doesn't qualify me as an expert, but I know a decent player in the comp when I see one. Potgieter was one of my favorite backrowers last year and I felt he was massively under-used by the Bulls in 2013. He will be massive for the Waratahs this year and will bring a hard edge to their pack. The Waratah players have already said that his presence at training has already lifted the intensity and quality of the sessions. Having a marque player, although not eligible for Wallaby selection, can have a positive effect on those that are eligible. As a Reds fan, I wish he was in our squad!

      Commenter
      Spanners
      Location
      NQ
      Date and time
      February 13, 2014, 3:37PM

      More comments

      Make a comment

      You are logged in as [Logout]

      All information entered below may be published.

      Error: Please enter your screen name.

      Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

      Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

      Error: Please enter your comment.

      Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

      Post to

      You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

      Thank you

      Your comment has been submitted for approval.

      Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

      HuffPost Australia

      Super Rugby 2016

      Round 1
      Fri, 26 FebTimes shown AEDT
      BLU 0vs HIG 0 17:35EP
      BRU 0vs HUR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sat, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
      CHT 0vs Jagu 0 04:00FSS
      Sunw 0vs LIO 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
      CRU 0vs CHF 0 17:35AMI
      WAR 0vs RED 0 19:40AS
      FOR 0vs REB 0 21:50nib Stadium
      Sun, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
      King 0vs SHA 0 00:00NMBS
      STO 0vs BUL 0 02:05DHL Newlands
      View All Fixtures
      Round 2
      Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CRU 0vs BLU 0 17:35AMI
      BRU 0vs WAR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CHF 0vs LIO 0 15:15FMG Stadium Waikato
      HIG 0vs HUR 0 17:35FBS
      RED 0vs FOR 0 19:40SS
      Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BUL 0vs REB 0 00:00Loftu
      CHT 0vs STO 0 02:05FSS
      SHA 0vs Jagu 0 04:10GpKP
      View All Fixtures
      Round 3
      Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BLU 0vs HUR 0 17:35EP
      FOR 0vs BRU 0 22:05nib Stadium
      Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
      HIG 0vs LIO 0 17:35FBS
      REB 0vs RED 0 19:40AAMI
      Sunw 0vs CHT 0 21:50Singapore National Stadium
      Sun, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
      King 0vs CHF 0 00:00NMBS
      STO 0vs SHA 0 02:05DHL Newlands
      View All Fixtures
      Round 4
      Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
      HUR 0vs FOR 0 17:35Central Energy Trust Arena
      WAR 0vs HIG 0 19:40AS
      Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BUL 0vs SHA 0 04:00Loftu
      Sunw 0vs REB 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
      CRU 0vs King 0 17:35AMI
      RED 0vs BLU 0 19:40SS
      Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
      LIO 0vs CHT 0 02:05Emirates Airlines Park
      STO 0vs BRU 0 04:10DHL Newlands
      Jagu 0vs CHF 0 09:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
      View All Fixtures
      Round 5
      Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
      HUR 0vs King 0 17:35WS
      Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CHF 0vs FOR 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
      REB 0vs HIG 0 19:40AAMI
      Sunw 0vs BUL 0 21:50Singapore National Stadium
      Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CHT 0vs BRU 0 00:00FSS
      SHA 0vs CRU 0 02:05GpKP
      Jagu 0vs STO 0 09:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
      RED 0vs WAR 0 16:05SS
      View All Fixtures
      Round 6
      Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
      HIG 0vs FOR 0 17:35FBS
      Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
      LIO 0vs CRU 0 04:00Emirates Airlines Park
      BLU 0vs Jagu 0 17:35QBE Stadium
      BRU 0vs CHF 0 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
      King 0vs Sunw 0 02:05NMBS
      BUL 0vs CHT 0 03:10Loftu
      WAR 0vs REB 0 16:05AS
      View All Fixtures
      Round 7
      Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
      CHF 0vs BLU 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
      FOR 0vs CRU 0 21:00nib Stadium
      Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
      STO 0vs Sunw 0 03:00DHL Newlands
      HUR 0vs Jagu 0 17:35WS
      RED 0vs HIG 0 19:40SS
      Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
      SHA 0vs LIO 0 01:05GpKP
      King 0vs BUL 0 03:10NMBS
      View All Fixtures
      Round 8
      Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
      CRU 0vs Jagu 0 17:35AMI
      REB 0vs HUR 0 19:40AAMI
      Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
      CHT 0vs Sunw 0 03:00FSS
      BLU 0vs SHA 0 17:35EP
      WAR 0vs BRU 0 19:40AS
      Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      BUL 0vs RED 0 01:05Loftu
      LIO 0vs STO 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
      View All Fixtures
      Round 9
      Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
      HIG 0vs SHA 0 17:35FBS
      REB 0vs CHT 0 19:40AAMI
      Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
      Sunw 0vs Jagu 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
      HUR 0vs CHF 0 17:35WS
      FOR 0vs WAR 0 19:40nib Stadium
      STO 0vs RED 0 23:00DHL Newlands
      Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
      King 0vs LIO 0 01:05NMBS
      BRU 0vs CRU 0 16:05GIO Stadium
      View All Fixtures
      Round 10
      Fri, 29 AprTimes shown AEST
      CHF 0vs SHA 0 17:35Yarro
      FOR 0vs BUL 0 21:05nib Stadium
      Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
      HIG 0vs BRU 0 15:15Rugby Park
      BLU 0vs REB 0 17:35EP
      RED 0vs CHT 0 19:40SS
      Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
      LIO 0vs HUR 0 01:05Emirates Airlines Park
      STO 0vs WAR 0 03:10DHL Newlands
      Jagu 0vs King 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
      View All Fixtures
      Round 11
      Fri, 06 MayTimes shown AEST
      CRU 0vs RED 0 17:35AMI
      BRU 0vs BUL 0 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sat, 07 MayTimes shown AEST
      Sunw 0vs FOR 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
      CHF 0vs HIG 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
      WAR 0vs CHT 0 19:40AS
      SHA 0vs HUR 0 23:00GpKP
      Sun, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
      King 0vs BLU 0 01:05NMBS
      View All Fixtures
      Round 12
      Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
      HIG 0vs CRU 0 17:35FBS
      REB 0vs BRU 0 19:40AAMI
      Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
      HUR 0vs RED 0 17:35WS
      WAR 0vs BUL 0 19:40AS
      Sunw 0vs STO 0 21:45Singapore National Stadium
      Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      CHT 0vs King 0 01:05FSS
      LIO 0vs BLU 0 03:10Emirates Airlines Park
      Jagu 0vs SHA 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
      View All Fixtures
      Round 13
      Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
      CRU 0vs WAR 0 17:35AMI
      Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
      RED 0vs Sunw 0 15:05SS
      CHF 0vs REB 0 17:35FMG Stadium Waikato
      FOR 0vs BLU 0 19:40nib Stadium
      LIO 0vs Jagu 0 23:00Emirates Airlines Park
      Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
      SHA 0vs King 0 01:05GpKP
      BUL 0vs STO 0 03:10Loftu
      View All Fixtures
      Round 14
      Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
      HUR 0vs HIG 0 17:35WS
      WAR 0vs CHF 0 19:40AS
      Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
      King 0vs Jagu 0 03:00NMBS
      BLU 0vs CRU 0 17:35EP
      BRU 0vs Sunw 0 19:40GIO Stadium
      STO 0vs CHT 0 23:00DHL Newlands
      Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
      BUL 0vs LIO 0 01:05Loftu
      REB 0vs FOR 0 16:05AAMI
      View All Fixtures
      Round 15
      Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
      CHF 0vs CRU 0 17:35ANZ National Stadium, Suva
      BRU 0vs RED 0 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
      Sunw 0vs WAR 0 15:15Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium
      HUR 0vs BLU 0 17:35WS
      REB 0vs STO 0 19:40AAMI
      CHT 0vs FOR 0 23:00FSS
      Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
      LIO 0vs SHA 0 01:05Emirates Airlines Park
      King 0vs HIG 0 03:10NMBS
      Jagu 0vs BUL 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
      View All Fixtures
      Round 16
      Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
      BLU 0vs BRU 0 17:35EP
      RED 0vs CHF 0 19:40SS
      Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
      LIO 0vs King 0 03:00Emirates Airlines Park
      CRU 0vs REB 0 17:35AMI
      WAR 0vs HUR 0 19:40AS
      FOR 0vs STO 0 21:45nib Stadium
      Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
      BUL 0vs Sunw 0 01:05Loftu
      SHA 0vs CHT 0 03:10GpKP
      Jagu 0vs HIG 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
      View All Fixtures
      Round 17
      Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
      BLU 0vs WAR 0 17:35EP
      RED 0vs REB 0 19:40SS
      Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
      SHA 0vs Sunw 0 03:00GpKP
      CRU 0vs HUR 0 15:15AMI
      HIG 0vs CHF 0 17:35FBS
      BRU 0vs FOR 0 19:40GIO Stadium
      Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
      STO 0vs King 0 01:05DHL Newlands
      CHT 0vs BUL 0 03:10FSS
      Jagu 0vs LIO 0 07:00Estadio Jose Amalfitani
      View All Fixtures
      Round 18
      Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
      TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
      TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
      Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
      TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
      TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
      View All Fixtures
      Super Rugby Semi Finals
      Fri, 29 JulTimes shown AEST
      TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
      Sat, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
      TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
      View All Fixtures
      Super Rugby Grand Final
      Sat, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
      TBC 0vs TBC 0 09:00
      View All Fixtures
      Super Rugby 2016
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D +/- Pts
      Blues 0 0 0 0 0 0
      Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0 0
      View all
      Super Rugby 2016
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D +/- Pts
      Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0 0
      Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0 0
      Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0 0
      Force 0 0 0 0 0 0
      Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0 0
      Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0 0
      Rebels 0 0 0 0 0 0
      Reds 0 0 0 0 0 0
      View all
       

      Follow Us on Facebook

      Featured advertisers