South Africa

Boks taking confidence from selection continuity — Damian de Allende

Damian de Allende 1

Springbok inside centre Damian de Allende says that the team are taking plenty of confidence from being unchanged into their Rugby World Cup semifinal against England at the Stade de France on Saturday night.

This is just the second time in 64 Tests under the reigns of SA rugby director Rassie Erasmus and coach Jacques Nienaber that the Boks have named an unchanged match 23, with them keeping faith with the players that did the job in their quarterfinal win over France.

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“There is a bit more confidence considering we are unchanged. If we had changed a few guys around there would still be confidence in the squad,” explained De Allende.

“It’s the way we train and help each other and put each other under pressure during the week, each guy in their position is just as good as the one who is starting.

“We can take a lot of confidence out of last week’s performance and hopefully we can replicate it on the weekend.”

Strong challenge

Looking at the match De Allende is expecting a strong challenge from England, but believes that the team will be able to handle the pressure, while he also admitted that he has enjoyed his recent impressive centre partnership with Jesse Kriel, having largely played with Lukhanyo Am before.

“It’s (the game) going to be very physical. It could be raining at the weekend so there will be a lot of kicking. Hopefully the backs can get some more ball as well,” said De Allende.

“We have to stay focused. The way England have been playing they will bring something different to what we faced against France. But we’ll be more than prepared for that.

“I’ve played with Jesse a lot. I’m confident playing with all the guys around me in the squad. Whoever plays on the weekend, we just want the best for each other.

“It’s unfortunate some guys do have to miss out but whoever plays we will always do our best. Everyone gets on with their job and is ready to make a sacrifice.”