Sbu Nkosi says he is keen to make the most of the opportunity he’s been granted following a rare inclusion in the Boks’ starting lineup for Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Gqeberha.
Bok coach Jacques Nienaber made 10 changes to the starting team from the one that did duty in the third Test against the British & Irish Lions this past weekend, with the selection of Nkosi and Aphelele Fassi on the wings headlining the fresh backline.
The Sharks duo replace Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi, respectively.
Since Kolbe’s meteoric rise to the Bok team, getting game time at Test level have been few and far between for Nkosi. But with Kolbe (and Mapimpi) rested for South Africa’s Rugby Championship opener, Nkosi is amped to remind everyone of his qualities as a Bok wing.
“As coach [Jacques Nienaber] explained, each week you have a different responsibility, and in the last few weeks my responsibility has been to help prepare the guys [who were playing] and for me that is also exciting because it could have been someone else in that role,” Nkosi explained.
“But the excitement [of playing a leading role on the field] hasn’t dimmed for me. It always remains there because there are a lot of people who want to be here. And that’s why I‘m looking forward to playing Argentina.”
The last time the teams met was in 2019 when the Springboks beat the Pumas 24-18 in a RWC warm-up in Pretoria, where Nkosi scored both the Boks’ tries.
But Argentina have had a few memorable and confidence-building results since then, including a famous 25-15 victory over the All Blacks last year.
And because of that, Nkosi says the Boks are weary that they’ll pose a different threat this time around.
“We expect them to be confident and come to the line,” said Nkosi, who will earn his 12th Test cap in the encounter.
“They are a very physical team, and they have a good mix of athleticism and power, which is very similar to what we bring to the table.
“They’ll confront us physically, too. The battles you fight against Argentina one could liken to the battles against the British & Irish Lions because of the make-up of their team. So, we expect them to be confident and stand their ground, but we’ve also made plans of our own.
“They’ve slayed a few giants in the last few matches they’ve played, and we respect them, so we need to be on form to ensure that we do not draw the short end of the stick.”
Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix
You may also like