Skinstad eyes international return

Former South Africa captain Bobby Skinstad has pleaded for a chance to prove himself again as he bids to make a dramatic return to rugby. [more]

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Former South Africa captain Bobby Skinstad has pleaded for a chance to prove himself again as he bids to make a dramatic return to rugby.

Skinstad, 30, has joined the Sharks Super 14 team after three years in the wilderness and is hoping to play his way back into international contention.

Skinstad admits that he has been too vocal in the past and believes his performances, not his words, could see him make a success of his return to the game.

"I do have a big mouth, I like to speak my opinions, but I don’t need to be in the media saying all kinds of things," Skinstad told the Sharks website, sharksrugby.co.za.

"There are very knowledgeable rugby people here in the province, and if I do my talking before the doing, it will do me no favours.

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"The only favour [I ask] is to pick me if I am good enough.

"I don’t believe I am coming here with nothing to offer, but I must package and present it correctly.

"The game isn’t where I was five years ago, but I have remained linked to rugby, stayed abreast of what’s happening on attack and defence, and now I must match my knowledge with the physical side of it.

"It was a schoolboy dream of mine to play for the Sharks, but I was lured to the Cape by Stellenbosch University and ended up at Province. It has been an amazing journey, full of ups and down, and I find myself now with the opportunity to play for the Sharks.

"However, I must stress that I am certainly not playing for them yet – I need to be selected first. But the gap opened for me to do it, and I can’t wait to play."

Skinstad believes the new coaching team of former Springbok midfielder Dick Muir and New Zealander John Plumtree has helped him motivate himself again.

"I see a totally different attitude by Dick Muir and John Plumtree and that has motivated me. Part of the reason for playing again is the fact that I never won a Super 12 and would love to bring some silverware to Durban.

"I still enjoy my rugby and I want to have a crack at it.

"I know that I am going nowhere near a Rugby World Cup if I don’t have a good Super 14. At the moment I’d like to do well in the Super 14 for the Sharks, and if I can perform, then I’d like to stay.

"I am not here to use the Sharks as a bouncing board to playing for the Springboks, but rather as a process to enjoying my rugby.

"I’m certainly no pensioner but I am incredibly impressed by the youngsters and their level of fitness and dedication. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me, but the body has had lots of rest and I am committed to be where I need to be."

Skinstad scored 10 tries in a Test career that spanned six years from 1997 to 2003.

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