Deysel’s Lions pride

Future Springbok star Jean Deysel has talked of the pride he felt when facing the Lions this summer. [more]

Deysel’s Lions pride

Future Springbok star Jean Deysel has talked of the pride he felt when facing the Lions this summer.

The 24-year-old back row prodigy is considered one of his country’s brightest prospects despite playing in a position in which the world champions can boast considerable strength.

Only the presence of the likes of Juan Smith, Heinrich Brussow, Schalk Burger and Danie Rossouw prevented Deysel from facing the Lions in a Test during the recent three-match series.

But he did still get the chance to take on the Lions on two separate occasions last month.

Deysel featured for his Super 14 side the Sharks in a 39-3 defeat in Durban before starting for the Emerging Springboks in Cape Town a fortnight later.

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And the Emerging Boks’ star performer in that 13-13 draw against Ian McGeechan’s men admits facing the Lions was something special.

“It was awesome when they(the Emerging Boks)  phoned me,” Deysel told the Sharks website.

“Actually, the lady had to phone me back because I dropped the phone!

“Not a lot of players get the opportunity to play the Lions and I got the honour and privilege of playing them twice. That was huge for me.”

And while Deysel modestly claims that he was fortunate to be voted the game’s most impressive player, he does believe that the efforts of the whole Emerging Boks team went some way to helping their senior colleagues secure a series victory.

“I thought I was a bit lucky there (to be named man-of-the-match),” added Deysel.

“I only played about 60 minutes and in a game like that, when you only get together a week before, you can’t take credit for the award, you rely so completely on 14 other guys. They made it so much easier.

“We spoke beforehand that we wanted to be the first midweek team to beat them, and I think the draw took away some of their momentum. It was an amazing opportunity.

“These last couple of months have been good to me and hopefully I can take the same form and attitude into the Currie Cup and make a success of it.”

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