Back to his best

Pierre Spies believes he can become the world’s premier No 8.

sar_145_webSpeaking in the new issue of SA Rugby magazine, on sale now, Spies said he would not make excuses for having confidence in his ability.

‘If you look at the guys out there, not much separates them. I’d like to think I have that extra bit that sets me apart. I know it’ll be perceived as arrogance, like: “Listen to this guy talking himself up. He needs to learn his place.” That’s the way we are as humans isn’t it? We’re encouraged to aspire to be the greatest, then shot down when we do. But it’s not arrogance. I know my limitations and strengths and I’d like to believe that I can be the best in the world.’

Spies also speaks out about allegations that he tested positive for steroids before the 2007 World Cup, how religion helped him stave off depression during that period and his battle with Ryan Kankowski for the Bok jersey, while Heyneke Meyer and Jake White give unique insight into what makes Spies the player he is.

Also in the new issue:

jp– An out of shape, demotivated JP Pietersen failed to score a single try in last year’s Super 14. The Sharks winger speaks candidly about that nightmare period and how he got his mojo back.

–  Sireli Naqelevuki on adjusting to life in Cape Town, Fiji’s player drain to New Zealand, why foreigners should be allowed to play for South African sides, being busted for smoking marijuana, and why he desperately wants to play in the 2011 World Cup.

– George Smith on his goals for the season, why he enjoys playing under the hybrid ELVs, whether Australia could field a competitive fifth Super Rugby side and who he’d pick for the Springbok loose trio.

– With Dan Carter still injured, Luke McAlister’s return to New Zealand in May after a successful two-year stint with Sale could be a godsend for the All Blacks.

– Jake White column: ‘The Boks mustn’t underestimate the Lions’.

– Having enjoyed success on tour in 1971 and 1974, does Welsh legend Gareth Edwards believe this year’s Lions will return from South Africa as heroes too?

– Why getting sevens into the Olympics would help rugby become a truly global game.

cj– CJ van der Linde desperately wants to be in the Bok front row against the British & Irish Lions, but playing overseas could count against him.

– England’s Kiwi centre Riki Flutey lifts the lid on a youth of gambling, drinking and violence and speaks of his horror time in an Argentinean jail.

– When Matt Stevens became addicted to alcohol and cocaine he knew he was gambling with his rugby career. The England prop explains why he did it, how he reacted when he heard he’d failed a drugs test and his desire to fight his way back from a two-year ban.

– While the Varsity Cup provides a party atmosphere, winning matters.

– Clint Eastwood’s big-screen portrayal of the Springboks’ 1995 World Cup win will tell the story of a divided nation united by rugby. SA Rugby magazine finds out more about the movie starring Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman.

– We speak to Ireland forwards coach Gert Smal who added a Six Nations winners’ medal to those he earned in the Tri-Nations and World Cup.

PLUS: Free double-sided poster featuring Keegan Daniel and JP Nel.

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