Rugby

Italy: We're not on holiday

2013-06-07 11:37
Luke McLean (AFP)
Cape Town - Italy's Australian-born wing Luke McLean insists they are not playing the Springboks merely to make up the numbers.

McLean, 25, was speaking to the Cape Times in Durban on Thursday, ahead of his side's Test there against the Springboks on Saturday.

The Italians had a solid Six Nations campaign, beating Ireland and France and only narrowly losing 18-11 to England at Twickenham which saw them finish fourth on the log.

And for that reason, McLean believes they could spring a surprise against a Springbok team that only started preparing this week.

"We are not here on holiday. We are here to beat the Springboks," the Townsville-born player said.

"We will have to put our best foot forward from one to 23, but we know that on our day, we can step up and play against the best teams in the world. We have to go out and be confident.

"If you go out expecting to lose, there is only going to be one result, and we are confident that we can get the result we want. We have beaten two of the best teams in the world this year, and believe that if we go out there and play our own style of rugby, and back ourselves to compete over the whole 80 minutes, we can win this one."

McLean also dismissed the notion that fatigue could play its part on Italy after a long Northern Hemisphere season.

"You must understand that this is no ordinary end-of-season tour for us. Fatigue is not a question. We consider playing against the Boks an honour, and it is something we would never take for granted.

"We are pitching up to play and win, not to make up the numbers."

Teams:

South Africa:


15 Willie le Roux, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Beast Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein

Italy:

15 Andrea Masi, 14 Giovanbattista Venditti, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Luke Mclean, 10 Alberto Di Bernardo, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Robert Barbieri, 6 Alessandro Zanni, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Antonio Pavanello, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 1 Alberto De Marchi

Substitutes: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Valerio Bernabo, 20 Joshua Furno, 21 Tobias Botes, 22 Luciano Orquera, 23 Tommaso Iannone

Read more on:    springboks  |  rugby
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