Daniel learning about ups and downs
Professional rugby is full of ups and downs. One day you are starting and the next you are a reserve. That is what loose forward Keegan Daniel has needed to deal with after Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer named his starting fifteen for the game against Argentina on Saturday.
Daniel won his fourth cap, and his first from kick-off, last weekend, but due to the physicality of the opposition and how the team will try to play, he will be given the role of impact player later in the game.
“As a professional you have to deal with the fact that sometimes you are going to be starting and other times you have to fit in and come from the bench,” said Daniel at a breakfast hosted by South African Ambassador Tony Leon.
“As a player, you always want to start and that is were you want to be. The more you play the more confidence you get and I would have loved to play against Los Pumas as you grow in confidence with matches and you get momentum.
"But the coach has to make tough choices and maybe if it was against Australia or New Zealand I could have been playing, but it is something that I will just have to deal with and make the most of the time I will get on the field on the weekend.”
Having said this, Daniel is enjoying his visit to Argentina. “This new Castle Rugby Championship is exciting, we are playing where we haven’t played before and it is unique and exciting. Playing in Mendoza in front of a sellout crowd will be great.”
He referred to the progression of the team, which he described as steady, although they might not be moving forward “as much as we would like to in in terms of being more mechanical in our finishing; there are still some areas of our game that we are not really happy with.”
But, he concluded, “it is the start of a new era and this is not an excuse but more the fact that we haven’t been together that much and there are a lot of new guys in the team. With the amount of time we had, the progression has been good.”