New Bok Jean Kleyn reveals origin of black eye

New Bok Jean Kleyn reveals origin of black eye

Springbok lock Jean Kleyn revealed the story behind the black eye he was wearing for his Bok debut.

The towering figure of Kleyn was beaming ear to ear for his first-ever Springbok team photo ahead of their Rugby Championship opener against Australia in Pretoria earlier this month. But it was hard to miss the deep blue and purple colours around his left eye.

Speaking on the Boots & Alles podcast, the Johannesburg native revealed that he earned the shiner in a training ground incident with Springbok hardman Pieter-Steph du Toit.

"I wish there was a good story," quipped the former Ireland international.

"I'm not the most agile guy in the world. At one point, I shot out of the line to make a tackle. When I looked again, Pieter-Steph was standing in front of me.

"I didn't have enough time to stop. So I ran full force into his chin and cut myself open. There were enough cuts and blood. I've cut myself open on the field many times, but this one was one of the worst¦ it's definitely one for the books.

"I don't know how many guys have sat for their first Springbok team photo with a black eye and 18 stitches."

It didn't stop the energetic lock, who helped South Africa to an impressive 43-12 win over Australia at Loftus Versveld.