Springboks

Kleyn chooses Ireland over Boks

Jean Kleyn (Gallo Images)
Jean Kleyn (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - 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."

'Home is when I board a plane in South Africa to come here'.

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."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Rugby
42% - 9984 votes
Cricket
11% - 2679 votes
Football
19% - 4524 votes
Athletics
2% - 592 votes
Boxing
1% - 223 votes
Cycling
2% - 552 votes
Golf
5% - 1176 votes
Motorsport
8% - 1993 votes
Tennis
3% - 805 votes
Water sports
1% - 212 votes
American sports
1% - 297 votes
MMA / WWE / UFC
3% - 765 votes
Vote