Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Andre Esterhuizen eager to make the most of his chance against Argentina

"You can’t just expect to be in the team, you need to work hard and when you get a chance you need to prove yourself."

Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen is eager to make the most of his chance when he plays off the bench this weekend in the Rugby Championship game against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

After enjoying a superb season in the English Premiership for club side Harlequins, Esterhuizen was recalled to the Bok squad, having not featured for a couple of years, but has found his chances slim, with just one start in the second Test against Wales, in which he broke his hand.

Having made his way back to full fitness he now gets another chance to prove his worth this weekend, and he will be keen to try and earn some more game time for the Boks going forward.

‘Everyone can’t play’

“I wouldn’t say it’s a massive frustration (lack of game time). Obviously you can’t expect after a great season at your club to just be selected for the international side. It always takes hard work and graft to get here and once you’re here it’s even harder work,” explained Esterhuizen.

“Obviously everyone wants to play, and everyone can’t play. So like I said, you can’t just expect to be in the team, you need to work hard and when you get a chance you need to prove yourself.

“My broken hand set me back a little bit as well. So I have been working hard to get back (in the mix) and I am grateful to get this opportunity this weekend.”

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Looking at the weekend’s game, Esterhuizen believes the Bok midfield is going to play an important role in making sure that the team plays on the front foot and puts pressure on the Argentinian defence.

He is also keen to get on the field and show what he can do, with him finally getting a chance to shine in a very strong Bok centre department.

‘Get momentum’

“I think getting momentum and front foot ball is going to be key this weekend. They are a very good defensive side. So we need to be on it and we need to be as physical as possible,” said Esterhuizen.

“We have to get over the gain line, get momentum and outwork them around the corner. They are physical and playing them here in Argentina it is going to be a tough battle. If we are up for it, which I think we are, it should be a good game.

“It’s great that we have so much competition at centre. We have great centres across South Africa, so it’s just great to be here competing with these guys for a spot in the team. Hopefully when I get my chance I can give it my all and see where it takes me.”

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