One Year Out…
The sceptre of Japan hangs over this year’s Autumn Internationals as teams either fine tune or grope their way towards World Cup lifting performance. First out of the blocks and into the Twickers cauldron are the ‘Boks
Article by Gerry Moore
Here I sit with bated breath waiting to see the team sheet for Saturday’s match between England and my home country of South Africa. These Autumn internationals are the start of our proper warm up for the Rugby World Cup next year, so all eyes will be on Twickenham. Before we even see the final selection and pull on our Springbok jerseys, we already have some knowledge of what is going on and who is not available. Whilst no one wants to be without their first choice for any position, it’s going to be interesting to have the opportunity to try out different possibilities and combinations and see how they work well in advance of the tournament. Willie le Roux and Faf de Klerk are both unavailable on Saturday as the game is not in the international window, although they will be back next week, so that will give us the chance to look at some other options. More than likely Damian Willemse at fullback or perhaps Gio Aplon and there are a few possibilities at scrumhalf. These guys along with a couple of injuries will make this an interesting game to watch and the gees (South African over excitement in regard to any kind of sport) is mounting.
I have been making biltong since last week and will be off this afternoon to pick up some koeksisters, a sweet twisted donut whose sugar to dough ration is about five to one. There aren’t many pastries in the UK that involve them being turned in syrup for days and deep fried, so if you think we have more energy and shouting power, not to mention unusually broad shoulders, try the combination of dried meat and the Afrikaans sweet stuff and you will soon be shouting louder too. On a high from last week’s Currie Cup, where my Provincial team the Sharks won the tournament, I am itching to see how our boys do on British soil.
I will be at the game thanks to great British friends who have supplied me with tickets despite my very loud pro South Africa shouting and I am looking forward to the beers and to the atmosphere not to mention an Army Barmy Jon Robertson ribbing as only an ex-Sappers officer can give when England is playing. I am confident that with the home team being 17 players down due to injury or unavailable, what will be a tight game will go South Africa’s way albeit by a small margin this week. It won’t be for lack of shouting, and I will be standing shoulder to shoulder with my 20-year-old son who will be in a Springbok jersey whether he likes it or not, although he has both passports so it’s a win-win for him.