Springboks

Boks wary of World XV threat

Victor Matfield (Gallo Images)
Victor Matfield (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok captain Victor Matfield says the World XV team will be an unpredictable foe in their clash at Newlands on Saturday.

"It is difficult to analyse a team that you have not seen before but we do know they have come here to play," Matfield said in Cape Town on Wednesday.

"We also know that under (Nick) Mallett they won't just throw the ball around. He will want them to go out and win the game. The way I see it is that they will be very dangerous from broken play."

Matfield said coming up against countryman Juandre Kruger would be a difficult assignment.

"I think it is going to be one of the toughest lineouts for me because of Juandre Kruger.

"Luckily, I know what he thinks but we know how well he has come through at the lineouts. We know some of them (South African players in the World XV) have aspirations of playing for the Boks."

It was vital for the Boks to impose themselves on the clash at setpiece time, he said.

"Then it is up to the backline to make good decisions. Whenever we get quick ball, we can be very dangerous. We want to continue where the Bok team ended last year.

"Everyone understands the playing systems, and everyone knows what they want to do."

At the age of 37, Matfield would become the oldest Springbok captain to run out in the green and gold.

After the Junior Boks beat New Zealand under-20 by 33-24 earlier Friday, in a pool fixture at the IRB Junior World Championships in Auckland, Matfield said served as inspiration for the senior team.

"Based on that performance, they can go all the way.

"What stands out for me was that the win was achieved in a New Zealand stronghold like Auckland.

"It was inspirational for us because it shows that we can beat New Zealand on their own turf."

Matfield said the outcome was reward for national coach Heyneke Meyer and the SA Rugby Union (SARU) who had programmes in place to ensure the age-group teams played a similar style to the Springboks.

"Heyneke and everyone at SARU have been working hard to make sure we all play pretty much the same style of rugby," he said.

"The more our young players can win in New Zealand, the more it helps with growing self belief, and the confidence that we can win there.

"Hopefully we too can play like that over the next few weeks."

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