Planet Rugby

I feel like a kid again - Fourie

01st November 2013 20:20

Share:

jaque fourie

Feeling like a kid again: Jaque Fourie

After almost a two-year absence from the Springbok team, veteran centre Jaque Fourie said he felt like a kid again when he joined his team-mates in Johannesburg this week.

Fourie has been plying his trade in Japan for the Kobe Steelers for the last 18 months and had made himself unavailable for Springbok selection.

The veteran of 69 Tests last played for the Springboks in the 2011 World Cup quarter-final defeat to the Wallabies.

His selection - as part of the 32-man squad for the end-year tour of Wales, Scotland and France - would also mark his first involvement with the team under Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

"It is exciting - I feel like a kid again --there are new structures and a new coach," Fourie said on Friday.

"It is good to be back in the Springbok environment again and I am looking forward to getting a chance again whenever it is."

Springbok scrum-half Fourie du Preez - who plays for Suntory Sungoliath in Japan - made his comeback during the Rugby Championship and seemingly smoothed the path for Fourie to get back into the side.

The 30-year-old Fourie said he had kept a watchful eye on the Springboks' progress under Meyer and, he had been impressed by what he had seen.

"I've been following every single game, even though it is a little bit late there in Japan, and it has been exciting," he said.

"There is a lot of good, young talent and the game plan we play is exciting. It is moving in the right direction and I think it is winning rugby."

Fourie had recently signed a two-year extension to his contract with the Steelers, which allowed him to play Test rugby if selected, and opened the door for his call-up into the Springbok squad.

The Springbok centre said the decision to leave South Africa to play his rugby in Japan proved to be the right decision as he believed it would ultimately extend his career.

"Playing in Japan will prolong my career by two or three seasons. My body is in good condition and mentally I am fresh," said Fourie.

"So hopefully there are a couple of good years ahead of me that I can milk out of it. I feel really good and hopefully it will show on the field."

While incumbent South African outside centre JJ Engelbrecht had performed admirably this season, the combination of captain Jean de Villiers and Fourie in midfield had been a potent one over the years.

The duo held the record for the most appearances for a centre combination in Test rugby with the 26 matches, and Fourie said the prospect of extending the partnership was one to which he looked forward.

"Jean has been playing the best rugby of his career. We've always had a good relationship playing together and hopefully we can pick up where we left off," Fourie said.

Meyer was confident Fourie -- like De Villiers has demonstrated this season -- still had his best rugby ahead of him.

"It is great to have him here. He is one of the best organisers of the backline I've ever seen and he's just got a presence around him," the Springbok coach said on Friday.

"Yesterday when we were kitting up, I saw him for the first time and he said: 'I feel like a little boy again playing for the Springboks', and he didn't think it will happen again. It was the same thing for Bakkies Botha and that means a lot to me."

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs Edinburgh19:05
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs Harlequins20:00
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058