Andre Esterhuizen on how Harlequins move revived his Bok prospects

Andre Esterhuizen on how Harlequins move revived his Bok prospects

Andre Esterhuizen believes his decision to move to Premiership club Harlequins was the best one he ever made as it helped revive his Springbok career.

Esterhuizen joined Quins in 2020 soon after missing out on South Africa's 2019 Rugby World Cup squad. The centre admits to questioning whether it was the right decision initially - an outlook that would soon change.

He quickly formed an effective combination with English flyhalf Marcus Smith and slotted perfectly into the attacking-oriented style of the club that won the Premiership in Esterhuizen's first season.

The former Shark believes that playing within an attacking team has been crucial for his resurgence as a Test prospect for head coach Jacques Nienaber.

"I didn't think it would be so important for my career. When I got there, I wondered at the beginning if it was the right decision," he said.

"Playing in another team, which has such a big focus on attacking play, meant an incredible amount to my development.

"I think I am much better equipped these days and I also think differently about the game. Looking back, it's the best decision I've made."

Back in 2019, the star centre found himself in a similar situation, being in and around the Springboks set-up but ultimately missed out on the World Cup triumph. He is highly motivated to book his ticket to France and represent his country on the biggest stage of them all.

"I just missed 2019," Esterhuizen said. "Any player wants to represent his country in a World Cup tournament.

"This is my big motivation. But I also know you have to be grateful for every Test you play in, because it's a great honour."

Meanwhile, Esterhuizen is expecting Eddie Jones' Wallabies to be a handful particularly with their talent in the centres.

"Eddie knows how to motivate a team and that will fire them up," Esterhuizen said.

"They have quite a few dangerous players in midfield in particular. Someone like Izaia Perese is going to be a handful.

"We don't know if Samu Kerevi will play, but regardless, they have great stopping power in the backline."