Having enjoyed his first taste of Springbok rugby two years ago, Lions
lock Marvin Orie is clutching his hands in anticipation of international action, but he fears South Africa might face a handicap as they are starting to lag behind.
It was hoped that the Boks could return to action within a few months, and if some of the large contingent of overseas players were not immediately available, local players like Orie could feature strongly.
Having played three Tests in 2018, the 27-year-old Orie had featured in the plans of national director of rugby Rassie Erasmus and narrowly missed out on World Cup selection last year.
“The possibility of an international competition, maybe in October, is something that’s still speculated on, and it would be great if it could come off,” Orie said.
Orie had played 39 Super Rugby games for the Lions since 2017, after turning out in 10 for the Bulls, and he had earned a total of 49 Super Rugby caps, just one short of the No 50 milestone.
“Everyone is hungry for rugby now, so the sooner we can return the better,” he said.
“It’s no secret that New Zealand have already started playing and Australia are also set to start playing, so it might have an impact when we eventually start.”
Orie, however, was positive that South Africa would make up lost ground as soon as the domestic game returned.
“Even if it’s just for five games and we get a month-and-a-half’s games behind us, the guys should be sharp again,” he said.
“We are blessed in this country with great players and lots of talent, so I’m sure if we get a local competition underway for a month or two before we enter an international competition, the Boks will be ready for it and as strong as always.”
Meanwhile, it was confirmed yesterday that the Cheetahs’ flying wing Rabz Maxwane had signed a deal with the Lions and would link up with the squad as soon as he was allowed.