• Springbok ‘could have taken that knee from Dan Gilmore’ • Puma F1 announces retail deal with Nissan
Francois Hougaard has described himself as a ‘troubled boy’ but he won’t give up after losing his starting place to Beauden Barrett. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA
Francois Hougaard says he would have had the courage to take the knee when asked if he would have done the same to Dan Gilmore had he been able to as a player.
The 25-year-old Springbok prop suffered a serious knee injury against England in the Tri-Nations in August and had lost his starting position until Andrew Makalio was drafted in against Ireland.
But, in an interview to be aired on Tuesday on the Fosters F1 Channel, Hougaard, who has been released to play with Super Rugby side Cheetahs, has revealed he did not expect Makalio to be able to replicate the form he had in the first 10 weeks of the Springbok season.
“I could never do what Dan Gilmore did when he took the knee during the game against England at Twickenham,” he said. “That was a problem I had with myself. I saw myself on the field, and I could feel my body on the pitch, and I was a troubled boy. I am a bit like this now.”
His future is uncertain as he is unlikely to be back until March after his injury, but the Fosters F1 Channel filming commitment makes it difficult for him to face South Africa in three Tests later this month as Makalio’s contract is up in November.
Last week New Zealand F1 team Puma F1 announced a multi-year agreement with Nissan that will mean the Japanese car maker supplying every component of its cars, from the suspension to the wheels.
Their machines will also take part in events organised by Puma F1, the race team that runs F1’s second tier, the World Endurance Championship.
“That’s our first international involvement, and it is a fantastic opportunity for us as a brand and for Formula One to have a key sponsor involved in our sport,” said Puma F1’s managing director, Lucas di Grassi.