Speaking to the local media for the first time in a Gloucester press conference, South African lock Franco Mostert spoke about his time in England. He cited family safety a massive factor in Gloucester move alongside the presence of former work colleagues in the likes of Johan Ackermann.
Family safety a massive factor in Gloucester move
South Africa has its issues surrounding crime rate and talking about why he made the move to Gloucester, Franco Mostert told media, ”It’s an amazing place to stay, in England. It’s so safe here. It’s better for my family and it takes a lot of stress off you, so I’ve been able to enjoy what I’m doing more.
“All the Gloucester management are positive and help me a lot so I can play to the best of my ability.”
”If you’re comfortable with your family at home. Knowing they’re safe and you know you don’t have to worry it takes a lot off your mind and allows you to concentrate on the team and what you want to do at work and that definitely makes you a better player.”
Since Johan Ackermann’s arrival he has signed seven South African players. Mostert spoke about how the ex-Super Rugby teammates and the culture helped him move and ease in at Gloucester.
”Before I made the decision, I spoke to a couple of boys who said it’s similar to the Lions. They have a brotherhood here and everyone watches each other’s back and you play for each other. That’s a big thing.
”Ruan Ackermann and Franco Marais were a few guys I could speak to about it. To have friends you know made the move easier for me and my wife to come over. They gave us accommodation and helped us a lot.”
Gallagher Premiership harder than Super Rugby
Looking back at his Super Rugby days, Mostert spoke of how he found the Premiership, it’s standards and admitted just how hard it has been to transfer between the competitions.
‘”t’s a bit harder than Super Rugby, slower but harder as it’s cold and wet so you have to keep the ball tight”.
”When we played at the end of last year against France and Wales in Cardiff. That helped a lot in seeing how they think, a lot of guys who play international also play in the Premiership so you kind of know what they do and what they’re thinking.”
He also commented on northern hemisphere refereeing adding, ” It’s a hard job [Refereeing] but I think they’re doing a good job and sometimes the call doesn’t go our way, but we have to adapt.”
Mostert scouting before Saracens fixture
Franco Mostert will play Saracens for the first time when they clash at Kingsholm. Having played with or against their players at some point in his career he’s ready for their challenge.
”I know a couple of guys, Vincent Koch the prop. I played against a lot of them when playing England in the June tests. They’re a good side, I haven’t played against them and from the video analysis we did they look an amazing side but hopefully we can put up a good show.” Said Mostert.
The win over Exeter was huge for the team, but the South African lock insists it’s one game at a time for Gloucester. ” It was a good win for us against a good side and if you can keep winning it’s a good thing, but sometimes you have to lose to learn. Hopefully we can keep on working and doing the right things.
”I have to say after the break we had it was the best performance of the team so far. We’re very happy with the win and I’m busy settling in so I just play to the best of my ability.”
Ackermann’s game plan
Having played under Johan Ackermann in South Africa, Mostert came to England knowing what sort of gameplan would ensue. Looking at how it’s adapted to the UK conditions he said, ”All the guys that came from the Lions are used to it. It’s completely different to the conditions in South Africa it’s not raining so much so you can play more running rugby, but unfortunately here you have to keep it tight.”
The simplest of tasks became harder for Mostert. Calling a lineout in a foreign language caused a slow start, but he’s since picked up the calls.
“At the beginning it was challenging because I’m not used to calling in English, but I got used to it and the boys have got used to my accent. It’s going well so far.”
Mostert talks of Premiership championship ambition
Having watched the Premiership before his move, he highlighted how much of a dream it was to play in the league. He knows it’ll be tough but wants Gloucester to pick up some silverware explaining, ” When I decided to come over, I watched a bit of the Premiership. It was always a dream, hopefully we can win it as that’s a bigger dream, but we’ll take it game by game.
”Just this morning we had a chat and I asked the boys when they last played a Premiership final. They all laughed and said it’s a bit long. Hopefully we’ll make it a good year and you have to take it game by game. If your head goes further out, you won’t make it”.
”Main photo credit”