Apr 15, 2015
Kruis Signs - George's story so far
With the news that George Kruis has signed a new long term deal, we take a look at the lock forward’s rugby journey so far:
Baptism of fire
Debuts are never an easy occasion, but they don't come much harder than Northampton Saints away. A fresh faced 19 year old George Kruis found himself lining up against a powerful Northampton Saints unit at Franklin’s Gardens in the 2009 LV= Cup. George acquitted himself well, going toe-to-toe with the likes of Soane Tonga’uiha, Christian Day and Phil Dowson. It was not to be a winning debut, but George played the full 80 minutes and it was a significant step on his rugby journey.
Racing through the snow
In near blizzard conditions George Kruis came off the bench with 17 minutes to go, as Saracens defeated Racing Metro 19-14 in the 2010/11 Heineken Cup pool fixture. With the game in the balance and the snow painting the pitch white, Kruis helped Saracens secure a special victory in the French capital. George played alongside class of 2008 graduates Owen Farrell and Jamie George.
"It was one of my first Heineken Cup games and I was playing again with a lot of these players I grew up with: Jamie and Owen. It was snowing big time, but I really remember it as a good one," mused Kruis on the subject.
Versatile Kruis impresses at blindside
Kruis showed his versatility and talent after being picked by Mark McCall to play blindside flanker against Munster in December 2012 in the Heineken Cup. The decision raised a few eyebrows amongst pundits and critics alike, but those eyebrows were quickly lowered after a terrier like performance saw Kruis named man of the match, with Saracens taking an impressive 19-13 win.
Under the posts at Wembley
Most young boys growing up have fantasized about scoring at Wembley Stadium, but it became a reality for Kruis last year. In front of a record crowd at Wembley stadium against Harlequins, Kruis scored the most memorable try of his career to date. Running a superb line and taking the ball flat from a Wigglesworth pass, Kruis proceeded to power his way through a Quins tackle and finished off the fine individual effort with a dive under the posts. The try all but sealed the win for Saracens as they went 17-3 up.
Baptism of fire part II
George’s first four England caps had all arrived from off the bench during the QBE internationals last year, but his first start against Wales in the Millennium Stadium during the Six Nations in February represented an entirely different challenge. Picture a red cauldron of deafening noise. 80,000 people watching your every move. An historic rivalry and a match with so much riding on it. To use a tired cliché: they don’t come much bigger than this.
In a show of determination and courage England shook off a slow start to defeat Wales 20-16, with George Kruis putting in a performance of incredible maturity under the most intense pressure, and in turn showing the world he truly belongs on the international stage.
Speaking about his intentions for the rest of the season, George said: "I want to put everything forward for the World Cup and see where it takes me."