Franco Mostert is honest about the prospect of him not being Lions captain against the Sharks at the weekend due to Warren Whiteley’s return.
“He can have the captaincy back by all means,” the lanky Springbok lock joked.
“Then I can finally concentrate on my own game again!”
Laughs aside, the 27-year-old coped remarkably well with the added responsibility of being Whiteley’s unexpected replacement for the majority of the Super Rugby campaign.
Not only did he have to lead his troops, he also had to settle at blindside flank too in a switch blessed by Springbok management.
As a result, he’s undeniably grown.
“I have to admit that I learnt a lot,” said Mostert.
“When coach Swys (de Bruin) asked me to be captain when Warren got injured, I sat a whole week wondering whether he actually knew what he was doing! But my teammates just made it so much easier for me.
“I grew as a leader and a person. To be honest, his responsibility has affected other parts of my life. I’ve become a better father, I’m more mature.”
Mostert has a chuckle when he’s asked about having to put aside the camaraderie in the Springbok setup to compete against teammates such as Beast Mtawarira, Akker van der Merwe and the Du Preez brothers.
“It’s the great thing about rugby isn’t it?
“You’re enemies on the field but when you walk off it’s all about friendship. It’s always tough on the field,” he said.
“The thing is, the log is so tight that both sides really need to bag a win. There’s a lot at stake.”