Monday August 15, 2022

10:20am, 05 August 2022

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi has warned that ‘there is no Test bigger than this’ for Ian Foster’s All Blacks as they take on South Africa at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit on Saturday.

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Having lost a series at home to Ireland in July, the New Zealanders head into the two-Test series as clear underdogs, but Kolisi refused to downplay the threat level the men in black still possess.

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“As children we dreamed of games like these, and we filled up the living room watching them. All the guys in this squad would have loved to be in the match day squad, so the 23 that were selected need to go out there and do our best,” the Springbok flanker told the press today.

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The history between South Africa and New Zealand dates back over 100 Test matches.

“The All Blacks are a team that just don’t stop, so it will require an 80-minute performance to defeat them. They have players in the starting lineup and on the bench who are game breakers, and we need to ensure we execute our plan no matter what the score is.”

“The All Blacks are a team that just don’t stop, so it will require an 80-minute performance to defeat them. They have players in the starting lineup and on the bench who are game breakers, and we need to ensure we execute our plan no matter what the score is.”

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“How we see it as a group is that we haven’t beaten the All Blacks at home in eight years,” said Kolisi. “We cannot control what happens in the All Blacks camp, but we can control what we do. We know what we want to do, and we would like our plans to work well. We are playing against an amazing side.

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“We’ve been in a situation before where we lost two matches in a row, and what we learned is that it takes one game to kick-start a team, so we do not see ourselves as favourites at all.”

Kolisi returns to the stadium where he made his Test debut against Scotland in 2013 and admits the stadium holds a special place in his heart.

“I made my debut here in Nelspruit,” said Kolisi. “It has been a journey with many ups and downs, so this is a special stadium for me and hopefully I can play as well as possible. That said, the All Blacks will be up for the challenge, and I agree with coach Stick that there is no Test bigger than this for them right now.”

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