Cape Town - Springbok lock Lood de Jager says their aim in the Rugby Championship will not be to imitate the All Blacks’ style, but “to play Springbok rugby”.
Allister Coetzee’s charges are currently preparing for the Rugby Championship - which they kick off with a home Test against Argentina in Nelspruit next Saturday.
After the Springboks stumbled to a home series win over an injury depleted Ireland in June, questions were raised about the team’s ability to compete against the world champions from New Zealand.
“We’re not thinking about the All Blacks right now. We’d like to win the Championship, but if we’d like to achieve that we can’t look too far ahead. And we don’t want to play like the All Blacks. It’s our goal to play Springbok rugby,” De Jager told Netwerk24.
De Jager, 23, was named South Africa’s Player of the Year for 2015, but has struggled somewhat in 2016, with Pieter-Steph du Toit taking his spot in the Springbok starting team.
But De Jager, who has recovered from a few injury niggles, is eager to prove his worth in the Rugby Championship.
“I’m well rested and my body feels good. I’m looking forward to the Championship.”