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How Moerat kept his cool on the Stormers team bus after 'dream' call from Bok coach Nienaber

How Moerat kept his cool on the Stormers team bus after 'dream' call from Bok coach Nienaber

Salmaan Moerat could not contain his excitement after receiving a "dream" call up to the Springboks while traveling from Edinburgh to Cardiff on the Stormers’ team bus ahead of the next leg of the United Rugby Championship campaign.

Moerat said Bok coach Jacques Nienaber's phone call left him oozing with confidence and he is eager to work even harder.

The 23-year-old Stormers lock said he is hopeful of getting an immediate chance to show what he has when the Boks face Wales in the first match of the End of the Year Tour on November 6. 

Nienaber's charges will kick off their tour in Cardiff at the Principality Stadium before travelling to Edinburgh for the Test against Scotland at Murrayfield a week later, and then they turn their attention to England at Twickenham on November 20.

"He told me during  the phone call it was still unofficial at that stage and he was just letting me know," said Moerat while he packed his bags on the eve of flying out to eventually join the squad in Paris.

"I couldn’t tell anybody about it until they announced it officially. I had to sit on the team bus and try and control myself. I started thanking the Lord in my head."

The Stormers lock said it has always been a dream to don the Bok colours from a very young age.

"It’s something I’ve always dreamt about. It is such a special moment for me and my family," he said.

"When it was announced in the media, I was so overcome by all the messages of support and love from everybody."

The former Boland Cavaliers star is thrilled to be rubbing shoulders with some of the players who won the World Cup in 2019 and hopes to learn from them during the End of the Year tour.

"There isn’t a better place to be as a young South African player coming through the ranks," he said.

"I’m with players who are world champions, and who have just beaten the British and Irish Lions.

"I’m going on this tour to learn as much as I can from an experienced group of players. Hopefully I can put my hand up and get an opportunity to play for my country."

Moerat has already taken advantage advantage of the opportunity he got during the United Rugby Championship and embraced its challenges.

"It was a fantastic experience. It’s a different brand of rugby up north compared to Vodacom Super Rugby," he said.

"It’s challenging in different facets of the game, such as in the set-pieces.

"Your kicking game needs to be up to standard, and the players are a lot more disciplined. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think it will suit the SA brand of rugby."