Springboks not on Mapoe’s mind

Date published: January 31 2016

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Lions back Lionel Mapoe is only thinking about adapting to the new Super Rugby format rather than his international ambitions.

Mapoe made his Test debut for South Africa in last year's Rugby Championship against New Zealand.

The 27-year-old's outstanding campaign last year didn't go unnoticed and Mapoe knows he has to continue that form if he wants to add to his number of caps.

“Our focus is to do well in the new format of Super Rugby,” Mapoe told IOL.

“Regarding the Boks, it’s a matter of, if you do well you’ll get rewarded. Of course, my dream is to play for the Boks, to play more than one game.

“I know and understand what I must do in Super Rugby first, to maybe get there so the priority is to contribute to the Lions team.”

Mapoe is also aware of the Lions' competition for places across the back-line, although he's eager to make an impact in midfield this season.

“I know I’m going to have to work harder this year because it’s going to be a challenge to make the team,” added Mapoe.

“We’ve got a great group of players here and the competition is really good. In the end it’s up to the individual to prove himself and then the coach has to make the call according to the game he wants to play.

“I’m happy to move to the wing, if it comes to that and if it’s good for them… I played there a lot in my younger days, but I really want to put a marker down (at centre).

“I’m hoping to put my hand up and say I’m the best man for the job.”

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