Pretorius eyes Wales call-up
January 3, 2013
Andries Pretorius charges forward for the Blues and could do so for Wales in the future © PA Photos
Cardiff Blues skipper Andries Pretorius has obtained his Welsh residency and he is targeting a place in interim coach Rob Howley's squad.
Pretorius, who was born in Nelspruit, completed his three-year residency on December 1 after joining the Blues back in 2009. He was handed the captain's armband ahead of the 2012-13 season by coach Phil Davies and he has been one of the shining lights in what has been a disappointing campaign so far for the Blues.
And Pretorius has revealed that while he harbours Wales ambitions, he is focused on performing week-in-week-out for the Blues. "Every player wants to play at the highest level but you've got perform well in the blue to get into the red," Pretorius told the BBC. "When I came over to the Blues form Gloucester three years ago I said I've got ambitions to play for Wales and that hasn't changed.
"But I also knew I had to perform well for the Blues to be even able to get anywhere. My main focus is playing well for the Blues. I did become eligible on December 1, but nothing's changed for me really. I've got one job to do and that's for the Blues and that's what my focus is on."
And Howley has received a timely boost from two of Pretorius' Blues team-mates. Both Jamie Roberts and Leigh Halfpenny are set to play for Cardiff this weekend against Munster after suffering injuries against Australia in December.
"It is good to be back and I am raring to go," Roberts told Wales Online. "You get guidelines from injuries and I was looking at six weeks after tearing some ligaments but not requiring surgery. I am fortunate to be back a week early and that is testament to the work of the Blues physios.
"It is just good to be back playing because being out for five weeks has been very frustrating, especially when there is a lot of rugby going on with the Welsh derbies and the Heineken Cup."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup