Juan De Jongh: Brief respite must fuel Wasps' Premiership charge
Date: 23 Jan 2018
Centre Juan De Jongh has produced a number of stand-out displays during a run which has seen his club claim nine wins in their last 12 European and Aviva Premiership outings.
And having been part of the starting XV in all of those games other than the recent Champions Cup defeat at Harlequins, few would dispute that the former Stormers midfielder has earned some respite while the Anglo-Welsh Cup takes centre stage over the next fortnight.
“It will be a nice break before the Premiership starts again,” he acknowledges.
“Some guys will play and some guys will get time off, but the coaches will decide who plays in what positions.
“It's important for us to rest up now so we get back in a few weeks’ time fresh and ready to work hard in the Premiership. We want to learn from our mistakes in Europe and pull it through for the next part of the season.”
It says plenty about this season’s casualty rate that De Jongh has enjoyed the company of no fewer than five different partners during this 12-match spell, but he has taken this very much in his stride.
“I came here to learn from the likes of Jimmy Gopperth, Danny Cipriani, Elliot Daly and all those boys and to grow as a player,” he says.
“For me, it's about working hard and pushing myself so the team can be in a better position.
“If I take the No.13 jumper, the No.22 jumper or the No.23 jumper it doesn't matter - I want to be a factor for the team.
“I have to make sure I push myself harder every week and tick my personal boxes so for Dai there is not another option.
“With all the players we have, there's so much talent at centre anyone can play on any day. So for me, it's just important to keep on working hard, cementing myself in this team and keep pushing this team forward.
“I just have one goal and that’s to lift the trophy; the team all have the same goal and hopefully we can push for that. Regardless of if I do play or don't play, it's important that the black-and-gold do everything we can towards achieving that.”