Munster lock Jean Kleyn has ruled out representing the Springboks and has ambitions of representing Ireland when he qualifies for residency in 2019.
Kleyn was discovered by Rassie Erasmus and brought to Munster where he has excelled. But, even with Erasmus moving back to South Africa in a national director role, Kleyn has put himself out of contention.
“When I moved over I knew full well that my career wouldn’t be continued in South Africa,” Kleyn told Sky Sports when asked about eventual Test aims for either nation.
“I’ve laid down my roots here and I’m pretty intent on just staying here and if it happens that I do get the call-up to the Irish squad in the future, I’d love to play, but obviously that’s not set in stone or anything like that.
“I’m just going to keep playing my rugby and hope I’m good enough to make the cut.
“I really love the place. I’ve been living here close to 18 months now and I’ve nothing to complain about.
“I even think the climate suits me a bit better because I prefer the cold to the hot! I actually do. I get hot really easily so the cold climate really suits me.
“The guys always make fun of me because I’ll be wearing shorts and flip-flops well into winter, that’s just how I am!
“I’ve really bought into the place I think and it’s the people as well. The people are so friendly and welcoming that you sort of have no choice but to feel at home, if that makes sense.
“I’ve been loving the place and I don’t see myself moving anywhere quickly.”
It’s clear Kleyn has settled in Ireland like a duck to water, but having moved so far from his family, there must have been challenges along the way?
“You know I’ve actually found it really easy,” Kleyn replies. “Probably the distance is the worst part of it but to be honest, I don’t miss home terribly or anything like that because I feel really at home here.”