Rynard Landman aiming to provide the Dragons with plenty of grunt up front

(9350576)

(9350576)

First published in Sport by

THE MANTRA of a South African lock is a simple one – smash rucks, carry hard.

Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield and Eben Etzebeth aren't renowned for being subtle on the field and thankfully Newport Gwent Dragons recruit Rynard Landman appears to be cut from the same cloth.

The 28-year-old former Cheetahs forward will make his first appearance for the region when they prepare for the Guinness Pro12 with a friendly against Bristol at Clifton tomorrow afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

And Landman, who arrived in Wales at the end of July, doesn't expect to be gallivanting down the wing.

"I just want to do my job at the lineouts and hit rucks," he said. "I'll let the guys on the outside score their tries."

Unsurprisingly for a man who also goes by the name Ligtoring, which means lighthouse in Afrikaans, Landman cuts a pretty formidable figure.

And he heads to Rodney Parade with his eyes open about the challenge ahead and relishing the chance to develop his game in the northern hemisphere.

He will no longer have to train on the Rodney Parade cabbage patch that Franco Smith, now at the Cheetahs, warned him about but the former Newport fly-half's caution about the rain will prove to be accurate.

But whatever the weather Landman knows that he will have to produce the goods at the region's new training base in Ystrad Mynach given that he is vying for starting spots with Andrew Coombs, Ian Gough, Cory Hill, Matthew Screech and Joe Davies.

"There are some good locks here and we are checking each other out on the training field while also urging each other on," said Landman.

"I know that I have to train hard and be on the top of my game. Competition is good at the end of the day and that helps make a winning team - you can't go through the motions, you have to work hard every day.

"We've been working hard on scrums and driving lineouts and have had two big, heavy packs going at each other really hard in training."

Landman will be joined by fellow South African Brok Harris when his Currie Cup commitments with Western Province finish in October.

The 29-year-old may appear to be a tighthead trapped in a fly-half's body in a YouTube clip that shows him thumping a 60-metre torpedo kick downfield for the Stormers but his compatriot stresses the set piece is where Harris will shine.

"In South Africa you are taught to just do your job," said Landman. "He will manage the scrums and stop the drive, but he also has a good skill set if he finds himself in the centre position!"

Harris will make his return from a shoulder injury off the bench for Western Province against the Blue Bulls this afternoon, a game that is televised on Sky Sports via the red button.

Landman, meanwhile, will set about showing that the latest South Africans to head to Rodney Parade mean business.

Comments (2)

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10:33am Sat 16 Aug 14

Euwan Usami says...

Encouraging words for sure. Be fascinating to see the first run out tomorrow v Bristol.
Encouraging words for sure. Be fascinating to see the first run out tomorrow v Bristol. Euwan Usami
  • Score: 5

4:55pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Dragonsfan81 says...

Dragons scrum shouldnt be a push over this season! Cant wait now!
Dragons scrum shouldnt be a push over this season! Cant wait now! Dragonsfan81
  • Score: 6

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