JOHANNESBURG - Andries Coetzee’s dream of playing for South Africa at the famous Ellis Park - venue of one of the Springboks’ greatest ever triumphs, the World Cup win in 1995 - will come true on Saturday.
Coetzee will run out in his third Test, after also featuring in Pretoria and Durban, at a place he has called home since joining the Lions in 2012.
“I would never have believed you if you’d told me at the start of the year I’d be running out for the Boks at Ellis Park in June,” said Coetzee. “I’m so grateful coach Allister Coetzee has backed me and believes in me.
“It’s always been a dream of mine, since I was a little boy, to play for South Africa at this stadium. My dad always used to call me “My little Bokkie” ... now I’m a real and proper Bok, and my dream is going to come true.”
Coetzee said it was going to be “a big one” against France in the third Test on Saturday. He, however, said he would follow the same routine on Friday and Saturday before a big game, like he always does.
“I’ll stick to the same routine ... probably watch a movie, a comedy, take my mind off things. It allows me to relax for an hour or two.
“If you’re not ready by Friday you’ll never be ready for the match. The preparation has been done, the boxes have been ticked.”
The 27-year-old is hoping for a quick game against the visitors as they look to make it a 3-0 series sweep.
“I think we’ll try and lift the tempo ... it is on the Highveld after all,” he said. “That’s an advantage for us.
“Making it 3-0 would be the cherry on top, it would be really nice. Sure we’re going to go for it. The guys really want it.”
After several hits and misses at fullback over the last five years the Lions man looks set to make his run at 15 last a little longer than many would have expected. He has performed superbly in the first two Tests, but he says right now he’s just enjoying the chance.
“I’m just going out there to play my normal game ... doing what I always do. My dad always told me that it’s just other guys facing you; there aren’t any superhumans.
“I know if I stay calm and play my game the rest will follow.”