Rudolph Jacobs
Rugby Journalist
2 minute read
18 Nov 2014
3:52 pm

Mohoje stays focussed on Italy

Rudolph Jacobs

Set to return to the Springbok starting line-up today for the Italy Test this weekend, flank Oupa Mohoje believes the prime focus shouldn't be turned to the World Cup tournament just yet.

FILE PICTURE: Teboho "Oupa" Mohoje during the South African National rugby team training session at Cape Town Stadium on September 24, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Luke Walker/Gallo Images)

But Mohoje, who could replace Schalk Burger who is not available for the last two Tests, will be in a race for a spot in the World Cup squad next year with the return of injured players like Willem Alberts, Pierre Spies and Arno Botha.

“The World Cup is obviously very important, so you play like it’s your last game,” said Mohoje in Padova yesterday.

“But while you want to do your best to make that squad, the focus right now is not to make that squad but to concentrate on the immediate and that is to do well on this tour and the last two Test matches.”

Mohoje however needs to be more physical and realised that the intensity that was lacking against Ireland duly returned against England.

“I think if you do well in the last few games, the coach will make the right decisions come World Cup time. I think we should take it a game at a time and see what happens in the future,” he said.

Mohoje said they have had to make adjustments to their breakdown applications since the start of the tour.

“The breakdown is much different over here, the conditions are obviously a bit more wet, so you have to focus a bit more. The reaction time at the rucks is quicker,” he commented.

The flanker said it was more of an arm-wrestle, while in the southern hemisphere the play is a lot quicker. If a team not quick enough, they have their ball spoilt, so it is very different to what they are used to.

“It becomes more physical here because of the conditions. The forwards get more involved and apply a more physical nature to their game. With us, we run a bit more in our different tournaments, so there is a definite change of application in the game here,” he said.

* Prop Jannie du Plessis has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, but fullback Willie le Roux has been cleared from his cheekbone niggle.