There's a target on Faf's back

2018-06-06 21:51
Faf de Klerk (Gallo)

Johannesburg - Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk is expecting a lot of attention from the England forwards when he faces them in this weekend’s first test in Johannesburg, but says he is ready for what they will bring. 

De Klerk is expected to be in the starting line-up announced by Rassie Erasmus on Thursday and after a successful season in England where he was named as one of the Premiership players of the season, he knows that his game will be scrutinised, according to supersport.com website

And he expects there to be a massive target on this back for the game. 

“I think they definitely will (target me). Any England side in the Premiership, they always put pressure on the rucks, they always try and put pressure on the guys going up for the ball in the kicking game and they definitely try and put pressure on the nines,” De Klerk said. 

“I don’t think it is because of me, but if another nine will play it will be the same thing. If you can stop the ball there, create slow ball or create a slow pass off the nine with pressure, then their linespeed is going to kill you. 

“I think we will need to get our rucking structures in place, make sure we are strong there and then a key facet will be for us to get quick ball to counter their linespeed. 

“On attack they have great ball-carriers and they know what they are doing. They are so dialled in on how they want to play and what they want to do. 

“That is our challenge, to beat them in that, to make sure we are better prepared than them, even though they have been together for six nations and longer. I think we have a bit more, how can I say it, threatening players in our team, so I think if we can be patient and stick to our structures, we could get some linebreaks on them.” 

De klerk believes that while he is a senior cog in a young team this weekend, he doesn’t see himself as a senior player. And while the combination between him and Handre Pollard is fairly young, he knows he will have to play to keep his place in the side. 

“We’ve been training together now for just over a week and luckily I’ve played with most of the players I’ve trained with. Coming into the squad and seeing some of the exciting players we have. 

“I think our wings are Nkosi and Aphiwe and they can score a try from anywhere and they are so quick. So I don’t think we are senior players at all. If Papier comes up and trains better than me and has a good game on the weekend he is going to start ahead of me. 

“I think that is the culture we are trying to get to, no seniority but in that you need to earn your right to earn the jersey. You need to perform on the weekend and that is probably the biggest thing. 

“Combos, whoever I play with and if I get the chance to play with someone, we are all well prepared and we still have this week to iron out the seams. By the weekend we will probably be ready.” 

The team to face England will be named on Thursday.

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Read more on:    springboks  |  faf de klerk  |  rugby


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