- Springbok debutant Sbu Nkosi says he
has no nerves heading into Saturday's clash against England in Johannesburg.
The 22-year-old is one of three debutants
named in coach Rassie Erasmus' starting lineup for the clash, with the others
being Aphiwe Dyantyi and RG Snyman.
That means inexperience on both
wings, and England are expected to test Dyantyi and Nkosi with a series of high
Given the disappointments of the
last two years and the poor display by the Boks in last weekend's 22-0 loss to
Wales, Nkosi could be forgiven for feeling a few butterflies heading into his
But, speaking to media on
Thursday, he came across as calm and composed.
"I'm not very nervous. I'm
more excited than anything," he said.
"I'm confident in the
players around me and they bring confidence out in me. We are very well
prepared and there is a lot of attention to detail. I don't feel any nerves as
Nkosi also stopped short of
calling this week a 'dream come true'.
"It's not a dream come true
yet, it's the beginning of a dream come true. I want to be excellent for the
Springboks and I want to do great in that jersey," he said.
"It sounds a bit surreal to
say, but I feel that I've always wanted to (play for the Boks). I've never had
the doubt in my mind. My mom has always been in my ear because she saw how
passionate I was about playing for the Springboks. She never let me have any
Saturday will also be somewhat of
a homecoming for Nkosi, who played his youth rugby at the Lions before making
the move to the Sharks in Durban.
"Ellis Park is a very
special stadium in South African rugby and it's even more special to me,
personally, because that's where it all started. Ellis Park was always the be
all and end all," he said.
Nkosi had played himself into the
Springbok mix under former coach Allister Coetzee last year, but he did not get
"It is perfect timing. I'm a
more experienced player than I was last year, inevitably. I've learnt some
lessons along the way, particularly in this season," he said.
While the high ball will be an
obvious challenge, Nkosi added that he had spent the majority of his time with
Dyantyi and Willie le Roux getting to know them better.
He believes that the Boks are
"For a young winger the big
challenge is to find yourself in the right place at the right times. I think
I've done a lot of work on my positioning. That's the biggest area that I've
put a focus into," he said.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Sbu Nkosi,
13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9
Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain),
5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Trevor Nyakane/Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1
Substitutes: 16 Akker van der
Merwe, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw/Thomas du Toit, 19 Pieter-Steph du
Toit, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Warrick
15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13
Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Mike Brown, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben
Youngs, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Nick Isiekwe, 4 Maro
Itoje, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Substitutes: 16 Luke
Cowan-Dickie, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Brad Shields, 20 Nathan
Hughes, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Denny Solomona