Etzebeth out to tame Lions
WP lock Eben Etzebeth is relishing the prospect of facing the Golden Lions in Saturday's Currie Cup semi-final in Johannesburg.
Etzebeth, who represented the Springboks and Stormers before making his debut for Western Province against the Free State Cheetahs last week, admitted that losing regular second row partner Andries Bekker was a setback but said he was confident De Kock Steenkamp will not let the side down as his replacement.
"I have played with De Kock before and I'm sure he will do a good job filling in for Andries," he said.
"Although Andries is an important player we must focus on Saturday's clash and I believe De Kock is an able replacement."
With Bekker sidelined for the rest of the season, Etzebeth is aware that there is added pressure on him to remain fit for the Western Province and Springboks cause but he revealed that he puts such thoughts to the back of his mind.
"I can't go into a match thinking about (sustaining) injuries as that is how you get injured," he explained.
Etzebeth, who enjoys the physical nature of the game, said making his WP debut was the realisation of a dream.
"Since I was a young boy I've always dreamed of playing for Western Province," he said.
"I wasn't disappointed with the intensity levels (against Free State Cheetahs) and it was actually similar to a Super Rugby match or a Test."
As well as his first Currie Cup match, the 20-year-old has played in 13 Super Rugby matches and eight Tests in 2012.
This has exceeded his expectations but despite getting through a heavy workload, Etzebeth is still keen to get stuck into the Lions on Saturday.
"I set myself goals at the start of the year and I got more than I expected," he said.
"I know this will be a tough game but my body is fine and I just want to go out and play."