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Ulster’s Marcell Coetzee sets Springbok return in his sights

Ulster back row forward Marcell Coetzee, wants to put his battle with injuries behind him and is as keen as ever to play for the Springboks again.

The 27-year-old has spent vast quantities of the last three years on the sidelines meaning that his playing time for South Africa has been limited.

Coetzee has been in scintillating form since returning to the field for Ulster back in September, providing impact to a team in rejuvenated by the arrival of new head coach Dan McFarland.

And buoyed by his club form in the PRO14, the former Sharks loose forward told SA Rugby Mag about his desire to represent his country again.

“It [the injuries] did have a big effect on me. I’m very passionate about playing for the Boks,” he said.

“Once you’ve had a taste of playing in the green and gold, it’s like an addiction and you just want to experience more and more.

“The one thing I can say is that if I should ever get the call-up, I’d jump at the chance. I’m still so passionate about the Springbok jersey and so all I can do is ensure that I’m performing well enough to be ready if the opportunity comes around again.”

Coetzee’s ability to play in all three positions in the back row could put him in a strong position in terms of international selection.

With the Rugby World Cup only a few months away, Coetzee could join fellow overseas internationals Faf de Klerk, Willie le Roux and Cheslin Kolbe in the Springboks squad after selection criteria for non-RSA based players was relaxed by head coach Rassie Erasmus.

MATT WALKER

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