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Kockott has no regrets playing for France

The SA-born player will make his first start for Philippe Saint-Andre’s side on Saturday.

Rory Kockott. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - South African-born France scrumhalf Rory Kockott says that at no stage was he ever asked to choose between playing for the Springboks or take up the opportunity to play international rugby for Les Bleus.

He will make his first start for Philippe Saint-Andre's side tomorrow night in the 6 Nations when they host Scotland.

Kockott made three appearances off the bench in the November internationals as they beat Fiji, Australia and lost to Argentina.

The Castres scrumhalf, speaking to EWN Sport late last year, said that he had no regrets in playing for France and not the Springboks.

"It certainly wasn't up to me, I can only play the best rugby I can play. All the other decisions are left up to other people. I've got no regrets. I know exactly how and what I need to do at the moment and where I need to go," said Kockott.

"I knew that all the effort and all the positive feedback that I got, I knew that I had an impact to make and I just had to carry on the way that I was playing to get a chance to play."

He says that he's not bitter at not having ever earned a Bok call-up.

"The coaches know what players they want and they know what players they need for their team. And that's the way it is sometimes. You can't always expect to be picked in every single team that plays around the world."

The former Sharks halfback added that his elevation into the starting fifteen is a challenge he relishes.

"Every professional dreams of playing Test rugby and I must say that the job at hand is always a lot harder than what it seems. I'm just grateful to be able to do that and at the same time we got two wins. Unfortunately, the third one eluded us, but it was a great start for me and hopefully I can build on that."

Kockott said he was looking forward to his Six Nations bow and he has not focused on the World Cup just yet.

"The Six Nations is a great competition to play in, after that we can look forward and dream on to the World Cup. But for me, I think performances need to be of an utmost importance before we can start looking at all of those."

"There's obviously a lot of work to be done. I think every international team in the world only plays for a few games in four years to perform at the World Cup. It's a long road until we're there so a lot of work still needs to be done."

He added that he was thankful for the opportunities being afforded him in France.

"From after my first year, I kind of saw what could happen in my rugby career, and I decided to put my head down and did all that I can in that space of time."

The East London born Kockett did, however, add that he wants to return to South Africa one day.

"I definitely hope so. I definitely want to finish off on that kind of note, I think we will just have to see how it all folds out over the next few years."