Elton Jantjies has admitted that his decision to act independently in the Lions’ derby against the Sharks a month ago was a lapse in judgement on his part. MARIETTE ADAMS reports.
Jantjies was left out of the Lions’ match 23 to face the Stormers at Ellis Park three weeks ago, with the official line from the union being the player had not been considered for selection due to a breach of team protocol.
It was later reported that Jantjies had overruled stand-in captain Kwagga Smith on several occasions during the derby at Kings Park, a game which the Johannesburg-based side went on to lose 27-17.
While speculation was rife on what Jantjies had done, the Lions and the players in question remained mum on the true state of affairs, with CEO Rudolf Straeuli declining to comment on a matter he deemed internal.
But Jantjies on Wednesday confirmed to SARugbymag.co.za that his one-game sanction was indeed due to a lapse in judgement on the field.
‘I don’t why I did it, I can’t really explain. But yes, I was dropped for making decisions individually. I’m generally very disciplined and hard-working, so I can’t explain why it happened. But it was handled internally and hopefully that’s the end of it,’ he said.
‘It was a difficult time, but in the middle of a long season, it was also good to get the break,’ he said of his sanction.
The 28-year-old remained coy about an alleged night out after the game against the Sharks, which is believed to be the reason why his contract-extending talks with the union stalled. Jantjies, though, did reveal his desire to commit his future to the Lions.
‘My agents are handling the contract negotiations with the union and I don’t want to get involved. But obviously I’ve told my agent what I want and hopefully things go well and I still get to play in South Africa next year because the Lions play a big part in my life.’
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