Chris Jack hopes his stint with WP in the Currie Cup will help him regain his place in the All Blacks squad.
Jack has signed a new contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union and hopes to play in his third World Cup in 2011.
‘I’ve always heard about the Currie Cup and I know it is tough and competitive,’ he told keo.co.za. ‘The rugby here is similar to New Zealand’s, so hopefully this will be the stepping stone back there. I feel I still have some unfinished business, so I want to be part of New Zealand rugby.’
The 30-year-old will start for Province in their opening match on Saturday against a Sharks side captained by Bok lock Johann Muller.
‘Johann is a very good player,’ said Jack. ‘I’ve played against him many times before in the Super 14 and in Tests. He’s an expert at what he does, so it will be tough.’
The 2002 New Zealand Rugby Player of the Year will pair up with Anton van Zyl in the WP second row. Van Zyl also recently joined Province, from the Golden Lions.
‘Anton and I have been gelling well together in training,’ said Jack. ‘Locks either connect or they don’t, so things are looking good.’
Jack arrived in the Cape on Monday and says he’s still busy settling in.
‘It’s been awesome. I’ve been shown the ropes and visited a few places like Cape Point. I also went to a braai during the week, which was nice.’
Once he finds his feet, Jack’s role will be similar to that of AJ Venter and Percy Montgomery – mentoring the young Province forwards like Hilton Lobberts and Pieter Myburgh. Jack has also spent time in Europe with Saracens, so his experience will be invaluable considering the absence of injured locks Adriaan Fondse and Andries Bekker.
‘Once I’m settled, I will be able to help the other players with my game experience and knowledge and I hope to learn from them too,’ he said.
By Gareth Duncan