Potgieter – We must target every game

New boy Dewald Potgieter insists Warriors have to target every game ahead of this Saturday’s trip to last season’s table-toppers Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off 2.45pm). 

The Springbok international started his first game for the Club in last weekend’s win over Sale Sharks and believes he has already picked up a lot in his first two weeks at Sixways. 

He said: “I’ve been surprised by the pace since coming from Japan. The game goes really quickly and that’s got a lot to do with the way we want to play and it’s something I’m happy about as it’s the way I like to play too. 

“The mood has changed immediately since last week’s win. Against the form side in the competition we showed that we’re capable of playing good rugby and coming out with the win but we have to target every game now. 

“The task is infinitely harder having to travel and play Saints at their home but we have the necessary confidence to go there and get the result.”

Playing alongside former Blue Bulls teammates GJ van Velze, Francois Hougaard and Wynand Olivier in the Warriors ranks, Potgieter admits it’s a huge bonus to be amongst former colleagues following his move from Japan. 

He explained: “It’s invaluable having those guys here. In Japan I didn’t have any familiar faces around me but coming here and meeting guys who I’ve played with for over ten years is great. 

“You already know a lot about them such as where they are on the field, what’s going on in their head, and that’s important, especially someone like Francois who is the big link between forwards and backs.”

Teammate Hougaard notched a try on his debut in last weekend’s win over Sale and Potgieter paid tribute to the new Warriors scrum-half. 

He continued: “Francois has a lot to offer in terms of general play. It’s nice to see how good he has become at the basics of scrum-half play.

“His kicking was on point and with the way he sped up the game, you could see the effect that had on Tom Heathcote at fly-half and how comfortable he looked. 

“That was their first game together and that was a great marriage.”

With plenty of competition in the back row at Warriors, Potgieter insists that nobody’s place is safe in the team, which is a positive thing for the Club.  

He added: “It’s great having so much competition. Playing in Japan, teams are only allowed two marquee players and when you’re almost sure to be picked, the game-plan is developed a bit around you.

“So to come into a squad with depth and competition is really good for my personal game. I’ve trained and played with these guys and they’re quality players. 

“Hopefully I’ll still be able to earn my spot in the side but nobody is sure to be picked.”

Potgieter enjoyed his 29th birthday on Monday and admitted: “Off the field, little things like having the guys over for my birthday to enjoy a barbecue and Wynand taking me in, have made me feel very welcome.

“I feel like I’ve been here a lot longer than I have.”