Faf back and ready to face the All Blacks again

Springbok scrum-half Faf de Klerk is back in the starting lineup and chomping at the bit to stay stuck in the All Blacks in the opening game of rugby league at the Mbombela stadium on Saturday.

De Klerk was replaced in the starting side by Jaden Hendrikse for the third crucial test against Wales in mid-July but has now switched places for the All Blacks clash with Hendrikse to play off the bench.

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“I feel good and positive and I’m privileged to be back in the starting lineup. The season has been going on for a while since it started in February for me (after recovering from a injury) and I think I’ve grown since then,” said de Klerk.

“Being back with the team last week, we’ve really grown as a group and become closer and more connected. Obviously there are a few new players you need to get familiar with. But I’m just happy to be back here in Nelspruit and really looking forward to this weekend.

bad shape

The All Blacks are in very poor form, having lost four of their last five games and losing a series at home to Ireland for the first time, which will make them a dangerous opponent for the Boks, but one for which they are fully prepared. .

“The motivation for us is even greater. We’ve been in similar situations in the past and we know what it’s like to lose two games on the rebound. I think that’s when a big team stands up and wants to play,” explained de Klerk.

“So we will focus on ourselves and make sure we are ready to go at the weekend. We have been working and will continue to do so in the coming days.

“But playing for South Africa against New Zealand, you don’t need anything more when you’re running on this pitch. So whatever the situation, you know it’s probably going to be your biggest game. of the year and you need to prepare.

As for the Rugby League as a whole, de Klerk admits their goal is to win every game, but they have to take it one game at a time if they are to succeed.

“I don’t think we would ever want to lose, so staying unbeaten is the goal. We don’t want to let our country or our team-mates down, so we have to do that week after week,” de Klerk said.

“We’re not saying up front that we’re going to win two games at once. We want to get through this one first and then focus on fixes and improvements or whatever to the game.”