Rugby – Pro D2: Bernard Goutta warns Elton Jantjies: “It’s his last chance to make the World Cup”

While the SUA is struggling to put its game in place at the start of the season, the arrival of the South African international fly-half appears to be that of a savior.

Saturday morning, the day after the defeat against Oyonnax, SU Agen hit hard. On its social networks, the club announced the arrival of South African international Elton Jantjies (32 years old, 45 selections). In search of an opening half, the Agenais found their pearl, to everyone’s surprise.

Including within the workforce itself. “We weren’t informed. We learned from the press the day after the match, ”confirms Dorian Bellot, before continuing. “It happened just before the match. Bernard Goutta made the decision not to let us know so as not to disturb us. But I was a little surprised because I didn’t think a player like him was going to join us. »

Not many people would have bet on a recruit of this level, let’s be honest. Even if the SUA was looking at all costs for a number 10 to replace Raphaël Lagarde, whose career will end in a few months. “Our priority for the next season was to find a 10. We looked at the market but we realized that there weren’t many people,” says Bernard Goutta. At first, the staff looked in France. The La Rochelle player, Pierre Popelin, was notably targeted, but he ultimately chose Castres. “So the only solution was a foreign player,” confirms the Catalan manager.

The Elton Jantjies bet

From that moment, all eyes turn to the stranger. And more precisely in South Africa. “Contacts are made quickly,” admits Bernard Goutta. “As soon as we felt the interest for him to come to Agen, we made the choice to make him an offer, who accepted it. A choice to quit or double. At his best, Elton Jantjies was crowned world champion with South Africa in 2019. And he hasn’t lost all his talent in a few months.

On the contrary, if the player was currently without a contract, it is because his extra-sporting attitudes make a lot of talk. This year, he was fired from the Springbok rally after having an affair with a dietician. Several world media also mention a detoxification treatment for drug addicts. Not enough to scare Bernard Goutta. “As with any rugby player, there have been things that have gone wrong for him. But he’s a vengeful player, and that’s why we also took him because we liked this vengeful side. »

“We will try to get him back on the road physically”

The Catalan manager expects a lot from his new jewel. “He’s a complete player with experience at a very high level. He is good in offensive animation, match management, but also in defense. “Expected in training next Wednesday or Thursday, the opening half could make his debut with the AUS very quickly. “It will depend on our workforce, its state of form, and its integration… We will try to get it back on the road physically. All of this is time saved for next year. »

Time certainly, but the performance of Elton Jantjies will be scrutinized closely. And the South African international will have to respond quickly on the ground to his detractors. “He is aware that this is his last chance to make the World Cup. He will want to find his best level. “Can’t wait for the sequel!

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