Cape Town - The Springboks are expecting a very difficult contest when
they meet Italy at the Stadio Euganeo in Padova on Saturday, according to their
captain, Eben Etzebeth.
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The Springbok lock has shrugged off a lower leg injury and
will lead South Africa for the 10th time this season. Etzebeth said that he is
happy with the teams’ preparations the past week in Padova.
“It was good to start the week knowing we arrived from Paris
with a win,” said Etzebeth.
“However, as soon as we started with our preparations for
Italy, we very quickly put the French game behind us.
“We are looking forward to playing Italy on their home
ground. We will not go into the match looking for revenge or anything like
that. We have a process and an approach for each match and we will stick to
“For the players based at overseas clubs, it will be their
last match of the tour and we are all excited to play tomorrow and hopefully
deliver a good performance.”
Etzebeth also said he was happy to have Pieter-Steph du Toit
back in the side and is excited to see hooker Bongi Mbonambi getting his first
start for the Boks.
“Pieter-Steph gives us another lineout option, he is a good
ball carrier a very good rugby player,” said Etzebeth.
“We will obviously miss Siya Kolisi, who went home for the
birth of his second child, but in Pieter-Steph we have someone who brings
“When I first heard Bongi was getting a start I went up to
him and said well done. He deserves it, he has been playing well all season at
the Stormers and I am excited for him. He is a good lineout thrower and I know
he’s looking forward to start the match,” said Etzebeth.