Springbok scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies says the late Chester Williams gave him a lifeline and credits much of his recent success to the Springbok legend. Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reuters
Springbok scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies says the late Chester Williams gave him a lifeline and credits much of his recent success to the Springbok legend.

It’s been quite a year for the Stormers player, from lifting the Webb Ellis cup in Japan with the Boks and being nominated for the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year award, to being the big winner at the Western Province awards earlier this week.

At the event Jantjies walked away with the Players’ Player and Best Back awards, while he also received a provincial award recognising the season he’s enjoyed.

But he’s not the only one to acknowledge for his achievements, Jantjies insisted.

“It’s nice to get the individual accolades, but rugby remains a team sport and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my teammates and the coaches I’ve worked with. I have to thank them,” he said.

The 23-year-old played under the guidance of Williams at the University of the Western Cape, the place where it all started for the Springbok sensation.

“The origin of it all was UWC. If it wasn’t for Udubs and coach Chester Williams, I wouldn’t have been standing here. He gave me the opportunity to study and gain some game time. He gave me a lifeline and luckily for me, it worked out.

“I’ve come a long way. My career changed a lot. I was at Province and would train all year and then just get to play 30 minutes for the whole year. So I’m really grateful for all my blessings.”

Jantjies seems quite certain about many things, it seems like he’s got it all figured out, but when you ask him what it’s like to be a World Cup winner, now that’s something he’ll struggle to answer.

“It’s unreal. When people ask me how it feels, I still can’t answer it,” he smiled.

“We just have to continue working hard from here on and hopefully we (the Stormers Boks) can take this momentum into Super Rugby.

“It’s our last year at Newlands, so I think the guys are going to play with a lot of emotion, especially the older guys, so it’s going to be an exciting year.”

@WynonaLouw 


Cape Times

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