Cheetahs star turns his back on Boks

Sun, 13 May 2018 21:09
Large clayton blommetjies hands on head 800

PRO14 SPOTLIGHT: Clayton Blommetjies has been on the fringes of the South African national team, but has decided to turn his back on the Springboks.

Blommetjies, 27, played for South Africa Under-20, was selected for the national Sevens team without being capped and even featured for the Barbarians.

However, he now hopes his move to the Scarlets can help him one day star for Wales like his hero Shane Williams.

The Cheetahs fullback will arrive in Llanelli in time for the start of next season and believes Wayne Pivac's side will be the perfect fit for his attacking brand of rugby.

He blames axed former Springbok coach Allister Coetzee for his failure to realise his dream of becoming a Springbok.

Blommetjies made it clear he has given up on ever representing South Africa, after what he sees as unfair treatment from former Bok coach Allister Coetzee.

"I don't even think about wearing the green and gold anymore, because I never had an opportunity to do it," Blommetjies told the WalesOnline website.

"Last year in Super Rugby I was playing the best rugby of my career and the coach Franco Smith told me you are good enough to become a Springbok at the end of the year.

"But Allister [Coetzee] picked players ahead of me not because of how they played throughout the year, but because they were his favourites. Players like Elton Jantjies were selected because he knew them.

"After that, I thought I'm not going to fight for the green and gold anymore, I want to go overseas and when my agent told me he had an offer from the Scarlets, I said yes immediately."

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Blommetjies hails from Boland in South Africa's Western Cape and grew up dreaming of representing the Springboks.

He is certainly not the first foreign import to cross over the Severn Bridge and declare a desire to play for Wales.

He won't be the last either, though the talented back is likely to quickly fit into the scintillating attacking style which has seen the Scarlets impress in the last two seasons.

"One of the reasons I have joined the Scarlets is their brand of rugby. As a full-back whenever I receive the ball from deep, my first instinct is to counter-attack and not to kick like some other players," Blommetjies said.

"I also want to win silverware and I think we can achieve that at the Scarlets. I've got a bit of pace, but what I love doing is creating for other players and putting them into space.

"I'm a huge fan of Leigh Halfpenny because we play in the same position. I've looked up to him for years and I can't wait to play with him. Steffan Evans is also someone I rate very highly, he has amazing feet."

Source: WalesOnline

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