Pretorius set on Welsh debut

Fri, 04 Jan 2013 11:08
Large andriespretoriusharlequinstry Large andries pretorius Large andries pretorius cardiff b

South African-born Cardiff Blues captain Andries Pretorius is determined to make his Test debut for Wales this year.

South African-born Cardiff Blues captain Andries Pretorius is determined to make his Test debut for Wales this year.

The 27-year-old loose forward became eligible to play for Wales after completing the required three-year residency on December 1 and is eager to join the likes of countrymen Brad Barritt (England), Mouritz Botha (England), Hendre Fourie (England) and Richardt Strauss (Ireland), who have gone on to represent their adopted countries at the highest level.

While playing Test rugby remains his greatest goal, Pretorius insists his immediate focus is on the Blues.

"Every player wants to play at the highest level but you've got perform well in the blue to get into the red," Pretorius told the BBC.

"When I came over to the Blues form Gloucester three years ago I said I've got ambitions to play for Wales and that hasn't changed.

"But I also knew I had to perform well for the Blues to be even able to get anywhere. My main focus is playing well for the Blues.

"I did become eligible on December 1, but nothing's changed for me really.

"I've got one job to do and that's for the Blues and that's what my focus is on."

Pretorius joined the Cardiff club in 2009 and was handed the captaincy for the current season following the departure of New Zealand lock Paul Tito.

Pretorius has since carved out a reputation as one of the leading loose forwards in Europe and has been earmarked for a Welsh call-up by former Wales flank Martyn Williams.

"We've got unbelievable back row strength in Wales. But Andries is more than capable of getting into that squad," Williams said.

"He's probably on the radar of the Welsh management. We know how good he is at the Blues and, hopefully, if he stays injury free this year he'll have another big year."

Williams, who won 100 Test caps for Wales, also lauded Pretorius’ work ethic.

"He's an outstanding number eight and he's only going to get better and better.

"But he's also a forceful guy. He's one of the most dedicated players I've ever seen, so his standards off the field are as high as his standards on it.

"He's certainly someone for the younger players to follow."

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 March 2017
Crusaders v Force 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Waratahs 08h45 Melbourne
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 17h15 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 19h05 Parc y Scarlets
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Ulster 19h35 Rodney Parade
Sat, 25 March 2017
Blues v Bulls 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Highlanders 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Stormers 10h55 Singapore
Kings v Lions 13h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 14h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Leinster v Cardiff Blues 15h00 RDS Arena
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Sharks 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Bristol v Gloucester 15h00 Ashton Gate
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
NMMU-Madibaz v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Bloemfontein
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
PRO12
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 17 14 0 3 66
Ospreys 17 13 0 4 64
Munster 17 14 0 3 63
Ulster 17 12 0 5 57
Scarlets 17 12 0 5 53
Glasgow Warriors 17 9 0 8 46
Connacht 16 8 0 8 39
Cardiff Blues 17 8 0 9 37
Edinburgh 17 4 0 13 22
Dragons 17 4 0 13 20
Treviso 17 2 0 15 11
Zebre 16 1 0 15 9