The Sharks have unveiled a phenomenal crash specialist in Jean Deysel. rugby365′s Nick Pawson spoke to the young star about his views on the Currie Cup, and the home leg of the Tri-Nations.
The 23-year-old blindside flank has the perfect attacking portfolio – complementing his solid 112kg frame with a great step, a fair turn of pace and the ability to break tackles.
Having played the beloved game from as early as grade one, Deysel went through the ranks at Hentie Cilliers High School in Virgina, representing the Griffons at Craven Week in 2002. He then went on to study at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) where he worked his way into the Lions’ junior structures, before being scouted by the Sharks and joining the Durban union in 2007.
Deysel marked his arrival on the scene in 2007 with a hat-trick of tries in a Currie Cup friendly against Eastern Province. It was this year’s Super 14 campaign however where Deysel began to make a name for himself.
Casting one’s mind back to the Sharks’ clash against the Crusaders, who could forget how Deysel slipped onto the field virtually unnoticed, before bumping off first Ali Williams, then Riche McCaw within in the space of a few seconds.
The young loose forward has found a permanent berth once again within the Sharks’ pack, after a disruptive hand injury kept him off the park in the opening rounds of this season’s Currie Cup.
“It’s lekker having a break; it’s fun for the first week or two but then you start missing the guys and missing the game time,” Deysel told rugby365.com.
“Playing every Saturday and doing your best and being sore every Monday – I think that’s what you live for when you play rugby.
“It’s lovely to be back in the side. The rugby is picking up and the guys are gelling very nicely – it’s great to be a part of the whole thing again,” Deysel added.
After a massive performance against the Griquas in Kimberley last Saturday, Deysel is again on top form and has slotted straight back into an experienced Sharks outfit that is looking rampantly on to Friday night’s showdown against an embattled Western Province (WP) at Newlands.
“I missed the first game against WP,” Deysel said.
“I can imagine though when things aren’t going your way and you’ve lost two to three games, that’s when you’re at your most dangerous. They will be playing for a lot more, to build up their confidence again.
“They’ll be picking a side to throw everything at them, which could be us. They’re [WP] going to come hard at us.
“But we’re looking forward to it,” he admitted.
With the Sharks sharing the top tier of the Currie Cup standings on 23 points with the Cheetahs and Blue Bulls, Deysel commented on the present atmosphere in the Sharks camp now that the tournament has reached the halfway stage – a tournament he rates amongst the best.
“There’s a great vibe in the camp at the moment. We had a real struggle in the beginning so we are enjoying how things are starting to come together,” he said.
“Everyone gets excited towards the weekend. We’re coming into the business end of the tournament and every team will be fighting for a home semifinal, there’s no easy game from here onwards.
“I think the guys are starting to realise that and we’re just trying to work on the more positive stuff that came out of our win against the Griquas.
“That’s the lekker thing about the Currie Cup, it’s a great competition – there’s three teams on level points which just shows how competitive it is; nobody’s running away with it and you have to fight for every point you get,” he added.
With all four Currie Cup games this weekend taking place on Friday night in light of Saturday’s Mandela Tribute Challenge between the Springboks and the Pumas, Deysel cast his attention to the current status of the national side and their chances of taking the Tri-Nations’ title.
“I’ve been keeping an eye on the Tri-Nations as well,” Deysel wryly confessed.
“It’s always lekker when a competition goes down to the wire. What’s counting in our [South Africa's] favour is that we have our last three games at home.
“I think we’ve got a very good chance of winning those games. Peter [De Villiers] is doing good things with the side as well.
“It’s going to take a huge effort from the guys to win all three games but I think they’re up to the task,” Deysel added.Tweet