Springbok centre Andre Esterhuizen is having yet another stormer of a season at the Harlequins and his latest performance shows why there is a large outcry for his green and gold return.
Esterhuizen has been somewhat of a revelation for the Harlequins since moving to the English Premiership from the Sharks, with many left wondering what else he needs to do for Springbok recall.
Esterhuizen was left out of Springbok World Cup squad
Esterhuizen was believed to have narrowly missed out on the Springbok 2019 Rugby World Cup winning squad, and played like a man possessed for the Sharks in early 2020. After showing terrific form and promise in the curtailed Super Rugby season two years ago, the big burly number 12, decided to take his talents elsewhere, and beyond the borders of South Africa.
Upon joining the Harlequins Esterhuizen had not only picked up from where he left off with the Sharks, but also seemed to transform and develop his overall game and attributes as first centre to greater heights in England. After he had shown an evolution that saw him combine his natural bulldozing, physical play with the more technical aspects of the game to devastating effect, many a South African rugby supporter had expected to see him named in the Springboks British & Irish Lions series side.
He seems firmly behind De Allende in the Springboks pecking order
However, Esterhuizen missed out of that squad, and the rest of the Springbok squads that followed. That meant that, you would still have to go as far back as 2019 to last see a game where the 27-year-old featured in green and gold. The combination of Damian de Allende, and Esterhuizen’s former Sharks centre partner Lukhanyo Am, is undoubtedly untouchable at the moment and the clear preference in the Bok set up. Now speaking after the Harlequins’ nail biting 20-17 league victory in a fixture against Gloucester Rugby, Esterhuizen had even gone as far as ginving an update on his current Springbok situation admitting that there has been no dialogue between him and the new national team regime led by Jacques Nienaber.
Proving to be breakdown menace!
But after his latest performance, Nienaber may have to reconsider his stance, as Esterhuizen displayed yet another string to his growing bow. The man-mounted showed gravity defying ability to get down and compete on the ground efficiently and to good effect. That culminated in a few turnovers he won for his side. With this sort of form at the breakdown, he could apply even more pressure to supplement the current loose forwards in the Springboks on that department. Watch video below: