Lions and Springbok centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg is excited to experience a new environment during his short-term stint with the Sale Sharks in the Premiership in England.
Janse van Rensburg is set to link up with the English club on a three-month deal before returning to the Lions ahead of the 2018 Super Rugby season.
“I’m really excited. I hadn’t really thought about going overseas because I’d hoped to make the Bok squad [for the end-of-year tour], but when I unfortunately wasn’t selected, I started to think about other options. The opportunity to join Sale then came up, and I’m really grateful to the Lions for allowing me to head over for a bit.”
Janse van Rensburg has had a tough year both on and off the field. The 23-year-old lost his mother to cancer and was also one of the victims of a terrifying house robbery.
He also suffered a serious knee injury in a Super Rugby clash against the Stormers in April which saw him miss a Bok call up even though many felt he should have been called up.
“It has been a rough year,’ he admits. ‘With all that has gone on, I thought it might be a good thing to go and experience playing in a different environment for a bit, and I’ll hopefully come back an even better player.
“I’ll also be back in time for the start of Super Rugby with the Lions, while the ultimate goal obviously remains to make it back into the Bok squad.”
Bok coach Allister Coetzee claims it has been a ‘difficult return’ for the centre following his recoveryand expressed his desire to only select an industrious No 12.
“It has been tough to miss out on Bok selection, and although it isn’t always easy to hear those comments [Coetzee made], I realise the importance of continuing to work on my game,’ he said. ‘It did take me a little while to regain fitness and form after returning from injury, but I started to feel good towards the end of the Currie Cup, and hopefully I can now make the most of this time in England.”
Janse van Rensburg is still very eager to get back into Bok contention.
“I remain so passionate about playing for the Boks, and it’s difficult when you’re not there, and of course there’s emotion if you’re not selected. But that’s what I’m going to continue working towards, and hopefully this time with Sale will allow me to refresh somewhat and come back in good shape and as a better player overall.”