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, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
PRO12
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 21 14 1 6 71
Connacht 21 14 0 7 69
Leinster 21 15 0 6 68
Ulster 21 13 0 8 64
Scarlets 21 14 0 7 63
Munster 21 12 0 9 58
Ospreys 21 11 1 9 54
Edinburgh 21 11 0 10 53
Cardiff Blues 21 10 0 11 52
Dragons 21 4 0 17 26
Treviso 21 3 0 18 20
Zebre 21 4 0 17 19