Adriaanse loving physicality of European game
JACOBIE Adriaanse has admitted there is far more emphasis on the scrums in northern hemisphere rugby than in South Africa.
And he is loving it.
The 27-year-old tight-head prop has only been in Llanelli for a month, but already he is making the kind of impact head coach Simon Easterby would have hoped for when he started scouring the southern hemisphere for a man to fill the No. 3 jersey at Parc y Scarlets.
In the last three weeks the Scarlets scrum has enjoyed the ascendancy over its opponents and played a significant role in the West Wales region claiming their first ever victory at Musgrave Park last weekend.
"Rugby wise, the ruck area is much more competitive in the northern hemisphere and in the scrum as well the guys really dig in and have a good clash in the tight," said Adriaanse.
"As a tight-head growing up and learning the game you learn to enjoy scrummaging. It is the only place on the field that you can't run away from. You know when it comes to scrum time, it's going to be good."
A graduate of the famous Stellenbosch University outside of Cape Town, Adriaanse had spells at Western Province, Boland, Griquas and the Johannesburg-based Lions before opting for the move to West Wales.
"The Scarlets is a great team with a great history and once my agent told me they were interested in signing me I was grateful of the opportunity," he added. "I am enjoying it here, I have settled in well. George Earle and his wife have taken me in and I am staying with them at the moment. They look after me."
Adriaanse admitted he would be open to the option of qualifying for Wales once his three-year residency is complete, but for now, the challenge of unbeaten leaders Ulster on Sunday afternoon is his chief focus.
"Playing for such a proud nation would be a massive honour for me, but three years is a long time," he said. "All I am thinking about is Ulster and we are all very excited about Sunday's game. We have to give it everything. It is a top-of-the-table clash and hopefully it lives up to expectation.
"Danny (Wilson) has really worked hard with us as pack of forwards and it has been easy for me to fit in — last weekend in Munster was a great eight-man effort. It showed it is not so much about individuals, but more a team collective. We have to stick to that."