Saffa eyes Wales call-up

South African-born flanker Andries Pretorius hopes to play for Wales in the future.

The 23-year-old loose forward moved from Gloucester to the Cardiff Blues this season, and would have to qualify for Wales via the three-year residency rule.

He’s played for England Students but signed a three-year Blues contract with the intention of playing for Wales.

‘I would hope to stay in this country for the long term to be honest,’ Pretorius told the South Wales Echo. ‘It’s a culture I’ve really fallen in love with and hopefully within the next couple of years I’ll make that big switchover.

‘I’ve had the discussion with my parents and told them if the opportunity ever came I would jump at the chance to play for Wales. If you just look at the culture and the people around here, it’s fantastic.

‘You go to the centre of Cardiff on a match day and it’s an amazing atmosphere. How could you not want to be part of that? That would be ideal.’

Pretorius highlighted the opportunity of playing alongside internationals such as Andy Powell and Martyn Williams as positives.

‘I think that’s still long days ahead,’ he said on the prospect of featuring for the Dragons. ‘But, at the same time, if I stay around people like [Wales flanker] Sam Warburton, who knows?

‘We talk a lot and get on very well. He’s really supportive. We do quite a lot of video sessions and he obviously learns off guys like Martyn. So I guess it all filters through.

‘I have to be realistic and say I’ve got a lot to learn still, but I’m in the best environment to do exactly that.

‘It’s great to be around people like Xavier Rush [who's leaving for Gloucester next season] and Maama Molitika and learn off these guys.’