St Andrews - New Zealand golf professional Ryan Fox, the son of former All Black Grant Fox, has joked that if the Springboks beat his team again this Saturday he won't be able to face the South African golfers at the tournament. Especially George Coetzee.
Fox is only three strokes off the lead going into the weekend of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The Springboks beat the All Blacks 36-34 in a memorable Test in Wellington last month. They face each other again on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld.
"I guess with the amount of South Africans playing in this tournament, if the All Blacks don't front up and win I might not be able to turn up on Sunday. I certainly did get a bit of stick from the South Africans on tour after we lost. I ended up having dinner with nine South Africans the Monday night after that Test, so maybe I'm just a sucker for punishment as well," Fox said.
"We had a lot of banter on tour about the rugby last year when we smacked the Boks. I remember winding George Coetzee up a lot about that and he didn't like it very much. But there is a lot of banter between me and the South African players on tour. Those guys love their rugby."
With this European Tour pro-am tournament always featuring a large contingent of South African golf professionals, sports stars and businessmen - this year former Springboks Fourie du Preez, Schalk Burger Snr and Rob Louw and Proteas legend Jacques Kallis are among the country's sporting greats playing - Fox is desperate not to have to endure another All Black defeat against the South Africans.
"I'm certainly looking forward to watching this game. I'd like it to be a close game, but I'd obviously like the All Blacks to come out on top because I might cop a fair bit of stick on Sunday if they don't. But you know, it's great to have a common passion outside of golf with the South African boys. They love their fishing as well so we get along pretty well."
Kick-off on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld is at 17:05.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 RG Snyman, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse
15 Ben Smith, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Karl Tu'inukuafe
Substitutes: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Tim Perry, 18 Ofa Tu'ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Richie Mo'unga, 23 Ryan Crotty