Former Ireland rugby star issues a stunning verdict regarding Irish Rugby World Cup exit and South Africa’s Unexpected Rugby World Cup Journey…

Jean Kleyn Expresses Surprise at South Africa’s Unexpected Rugby World Cup Journey…

Jean Kleyn, a former Ireland rugby star, has confessed his astonishment at South Africa’s remarkable run in the Rugby World Cup. The Munster lock, who initially qualified for the Irish team through residency, participated in the 2019 tournament under Joe Schmidt.

However, after being consistently overlooked by Andy Farrell, he decided to revert to his native South Africa and earned a spot in Jacques Nienaber’s squad for the current competition.

South Africa, the reigning champions following their victory over England in 2019, is set to face three-time winners New Zealand in the upcoming final.

Kleyn reflected on his unconventional Test career, stating, “I find myself thinking about it quite frequently. It’s peculiar because if you had asked me six months ago if I had any chance of playing in the World Cup final for the Springboks, I would have thought you were crazy.

I’ll probably wake up after it’s all over and wonder if it was a dream or a reality. It was beyond anything I had ever imagined. Being a part of this journey has been an absolute delight.”

Kleyn had previously played for Ireland in five matches, with his last appearance dating back to a pool-stage victory over Samoa four years ago.

He was concerned that his switch back to the Springboks might receive negative reactions, but he was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming support from Munster fans. He shared, “I’ve received an abundance of messages from Munster supporters, especially after Ireland was eliminated.

They rallied behind us and said, ‘You’re our second team now, guys.’ The support was genuinely heartfelt, which made the transition much smoother for me. I had anticipated some negative media coverage based on my history with the Irish media, but the response was overwhelmingly positive, which was truly gratifying.”

Although Kleyn has started only one match in the current tournament, South Africa’s 76-0 victory over Romania, he did make an appearance off the bench against his former international side, Ireland.

Despite losing that closely contested battle, Kleyn remains optimistic about South Africa’s chances. He remarked, “It was unfortunate that we didn’t win that game, but in the end, it’s the World Cup that matters.

No one really dwells on losing a pool game; they remember whether you win the World Cup. We were disappointed with the result back then, but we’re content with where we stand now. It was an incredible game to be a part of, and I cherished every moment of it.

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