Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi is back and ready to fire against Argentina in the must-win Boks win rugby league clash at Kings Park Stadium in Durban on Saturday.
Mbonambi was out of the squad with a knee injury for just over a month but is back to provide much-needed bench cover for brilliant Malcolm Marx this weekend.
“The knee injury happened in Joburg before the second Test against the All Blacks. It was just a freak accident that happened during training and I was really disappointed that it happened afterwards,” Mbonambi said this week.
“But I’ve gone through my rehab, I’m back in training, the doctor and the physio are happy and I feel a lot more confident in my knee than three weeks ago.
“Malcolm Marx played really well. The competition in this team is very tight and we are fighting very hard for a place in game 23. It’s never easy to come back from an injury and to work hard to try to come back in the team, so I’m just happy to be back.”
Mbonambi expects another massive forward battle from the Argentines and knows he could be in line to play a very important role with the deminer off the bench.
“The Argentine scrum we saw last week was very good. They have a very good front line and a good peloton,” Mbonambi said.
“Having (Augustin) Creevy back for them is a big boost because he’s an experienced player and it’s huge for them because he knows exactly what to do in scrums and knows most of the stuff that goes on there. So it will be a huge challenge in the front row for both teams.
As Bok utility full-back Frans Steyn prepared to start his first international opener in 14 years, most recently against Italy in 2008, Mbonambi was asked if the squad attackers had a plan to make it easier for him.
“I don’t think a guy like Frans Steyn really needs our help. He’s been in the neighborhood longer than any of us, and he knows exactly what’s expected of him. as the attackers know what is expected of them, not only to facilitate his work, but also for the whole team,” admitted Mbonambi.
“We all have a specific role to play and if we achieve that, everyone will be on track for a good performance.”