Cape Town - The Stormers will play their first Super Rugby match in Argentina this weekend, which is a challenge that stalwart Schalk Burger is looking forward to.
It will be a historic occasion when the Stormers run out at the Velez Sarsfield Stadium in Buenos Aires on Saturday, for what the experienced Burger knows will be an intense encounter against a dangerous Jaguares side.
For most of the squad it will be a completely new experience, which is a challenge they should embrace according to Burger.
“Obviously there is a lot of passion out there, and it is a hostile environment to go over and play in,” Burger told the Stormers’ official website.
“But we must embrace it, it is not one of those countries that we travel to very often and not a lot of the players in this group has been there so it is exciting to go to a new venue.
“It is a tough environment to go and play well in, but it is a challenge that we will gladly accept,” he said.
As one of the players in the squad who has played in Argentina before, Burger is expecting an electric atmosphere.
“I have been fortunate enough to go there quite a few times, we have got a lot in common - they have got a lust for life and they are very passionate about their rugby.
“It is a really nice stadium and the crowd is right on top of you, and they really get it going which doesn’t always come across when you watch it on TV,” he said.
Although the Jaguares have only won one of their three games this season, the Stormers are expecting a serious test from a team packed with Argentina internationals.
“From a Jaguares point of view they do play a lot with the ball, traditionally they get a lot of energy from their forwards and they still do through their scrum and their driving maul.
“This team likes to have ball in hand and take chances, and they play with immense energy.
“They are a good team with a lot of internationals and they will play for 80 minutes like their game against the Chiefs where it almost looked like they were down and out but they never stopped playing.
“The trick for us will be to perform at a high level, but also stay composed within our structures.
“It doesn’t get easier, every week is a big challenge and we have one more to go before a bye so let’s give it horns,” Burger added.
Saturday’s clash is scheduled for 23:40 (SA time).