Rugby Championship

Brussow: I'm better than before

2015-07-23 14:20
Heinrich Brussow (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Flank Heinrich Brussow says he has improved his game since the last time he played for the Springboks.

Brussow last played for South Africa in 2011, when they were eliminated by Australia in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.

After a four-year absence, the openside flank specialist will get a chance to prove his worth in the Springbok jersey.

The 29-year-old has played 20 Tests for the Springboks, which includes an undefeated run against the All Blacks in four Tests.

Brussow is looking forward to making an impact in the sold-out Test against the All Blacks.

“It’s great to be back. And I can’t wait to make the most of my opportunity against the All Blacks. It’s going to be an amazing challenge,” Brussow told in Johannesburg.    

“I’m definitely a better player compared to the last time I played for the Springboks. I have much more experience and I’ve improved certain areas of my game. Playing in Japan has added speed to my game. The game flows much quicker, so I had to make decisions in a short space of time. I also make better decisions at the breakdowns, knowing which option will be best.

“Four years is a long time to be out of the Springbok team, but I’ve always been hopeful of making a return. Over the years, I was close to making the team, but injuries have always kept me out.

“During this time, I’ve kept in contact with coach Heyneke Meyer, and he always explained to me where I stood. So I knew I stood the chance of making the team. I always believed that if a guy plays very well week after week, you can’t keep him out of the team.”

Brussow will combine with Francois Louw and Schalk Burger in the loose trio. He believes this combination can be effective against the All Blacks.

“I’ve played with Schalk Burger in the loose trio before, so I know how he plays and what he brings to the table. Francois and I have been in the same training squad, but we’ve never been picked in the same side before, so I’m looking forward to working with him,” said Brussow.

“The combination of two openside specialists can work out very well. With two players sharing the responsibilities, it creates less pressure. You also know what the other player is thinking, so you can pick your moments to attack the breakdown. We’re there to support each other.”


South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger (captain), 7 Francois Louw, 6 Heinrich Brussow, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Lionel Mapoe

New Zealand:

15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma'a Nonu, 11 Charles Piutau, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Liam Messam, 5 James Broadhurst, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Tony Woodcock

Substitutes: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ben Franks, 19 Sam Whitelock, 20 Victor Vito, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Beauden Barrett, 23 Malakai Fekitoa

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