Speedster Malcolm Jaer is focused on making the most of his opportunities at the Cheetahs following his move from the Southern Kings.
Malcolm Jaer was born and bred in the Eastern Cape, where he attended Brandwag in Uitenhage. He represented the province at U16 and U18 levels as a schoolboy before working his way through the professional ranks in 2014 and 2015. He also became a Junior Springbok in 2015 – combining with the likes of Leolin Zas and Warrick Gelant in what was remembered as a dangerous back three.
Jaer has been an exciting feature in Super Rugby in 2016 and 2017 by providing great attacking influence from fullback. He was one of the standout performers for the Port Elizabeth-based franchise, who picked up six wins out 15 games – which were more victories than the Bulls and Cheetahs managed to score this season (both teams only won four matches).
After the tournament, Jaer’s contract with the Kings expired and he agreed to sign with the Cheetahs, where he’s already making an impact. He scored two tries during the Cheetahs’ 45-34 win over the Pumas in Nelspruit on Wednesday.
The 22-year-old is looking forward to an exciting year ahead with the Bloemfontein franchise.
“I was very excited to join the Cheetahs. They are very well known for their attacking game, which is the sort of game plan that suits my strengths,” Jaer told MyPlayers. “I’m settling well with the team and there’s plenty of positive vibes in the camp, especially after winning three in a row.
“Our performances in the Currie Cup will also prepare the players well ahead of the Pro14.”
The Cheetahs and Southern Kings have joined the Pro14, which includes teams from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy. The tournament kicks off on 1 September.
Jaer said the players are looking forward to a fresh challenge, which will see South African teams compete in a European competition for the first time.
“The Cheetahs are establishing a big squad for the challenge ahead. We need teams to compete in the Pro14 and Currie Cup, so we will be working with a wide group of players to ensure we are doing well in both competitions,” said Jaer.
“If given an opportunity to play, I’d love to experience life in the Pro14. It’s going to be a new experience for all South African players involved – new conditions, new opponents and new challenges. I just want to contribute to the team and help them do well.
“I’ve learned a lot during Super Rugby over the past two seasons, especially from the senior guys around me. This will help me during my new chapter with the Cheetahs.”
Off the field, Jaer said he tries to relax when he gets off time.
“Bloemfontein is very laid back. When I’m not playing rugby, I just relax and spend time with the guys at home. I spend most of my time with guys like Makazole Mapimpi, Rosko Specman, Junior Pokomela and Sergeal Petersen – just to name a few.”
By Gareth Duncan