Olivier has a point to prove

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Wynand Olivier.

Springbok Wynand Olivier will be out to prove a point to himself against England in the third and final Test match in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

South Africa lead the series 2-0 and will be hoping to white-wash the visitors, and Olivier will likely be handed a starting role at inside centre in the absence of Francois Steyn.

Steyn is unavailable this weekend as he is getting married, giving a chance for the Blue Bull darling, who turned 29 last week, to stake his claim again in the national team set up.

“It's great to be back,” said Olivier at a press conference in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.

“I wouldn't say to prove a point, but maybe I have a point to prove to myself.

“Maybe I can make a step up to international rugby, so I want to go out there and do my best.

“I've been in and out the squad for a couple years and it's great to be back in international rugby.”

Olivier was part of Jake White's 2007 World Cup-winning squad.

However, his tackling and defensive play were questioned early in his career, causing the Afrikaanse Hoer Seunskool product's struggle to get beyond the fringes of Bok selection.

He went on to share his views on working under the different coaches including Heyneke Meyer's predecessor, Peter de Villiers.

Olivier, though, has a good understanding with Meyer, who coached him at the Bulls.

“From Jake to Peter everyone brings something different,” he said.

“I was a lot younger with Jake and now I return with some experience now.

“I'm a little more focussed, a little more relaxed with the experience I got through the years.”

Paired with captain Jean de Villiers at outside centre, Olivier said he will make the most of the opportunity.

“Playing with someone like him (De Villiers) for me has only been once a year maybe.

“The last time I played with him was 2006 or 2007.

“I enjoy playing with Jean and I have a lot of respect for him.

“He has such experience. He talks a lot and makes things easier.”

Bok scrumhalf Francois Hougaard, meanwhile, said the team would enhance on their cohesion the more time they play together.

While the South Africans were dominant in a rampant first half at Ellis Park last weekend, they allowed the English Roses back into play in the second half.

The team aimed at ironing out on some of the errors in the 36-27 win as they search to clinch the series 3-0.

“The more time we spend together, the running lines and ruck balls we get will improve,” said Hougaard.

“We placed emphasis on the breakdowns this week and it showed out there.” – Sapa


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