CAPE TOWN - All Black centre Sonny Bill Williams says it won’t take much to motivate them to perform against the Springboks at Newlands on Saturday - the jersey alone will do that.
The All Blacks might have secured a 57-0 triumph over the Boks in Albany but, as always, there will be no room for complacency from the All Blacks’ side.
And after the team announcement, when Williams was asked how the players in black will motivate themselves to perform to the fullest, he said: “When it comes down to putting on that All Black jersey, you want to win.”
Williams, who will form the midfield pairing with Ryan Crotty, is of the opinion that Jesse Kriel is a fine athlete, but it’s inside centre Jan Serfontein that poses a bigger threat.
“Quality players, quality players. We all know what kind of athlete Kriel is, but his midfield partner brings that stability to enhance his game, I feel. We have a big job on our hands to nullify that threat,” Williams said.
And when asked about Damian de Allende, Williams said: “He’s a big man, so we’re definitely doing our tackle practice and things like that this week. But that goes across the board for the South Africans, they’re big, physical men, so we have to get in their faces and match them.”
If you approach the team hotel, it’s pretty obvious that the All Blacks have a lot of support in Cape Town. And Crotty, who is back at outside centre this weekend, says the overwhelming support is great.
“It’s not a distraction if you don’t let it become one. It’s awesome to see the fans getting behind us in South Africa. We sure do get a lot of support here, and to see them so excited to have us here in Cape Town,” Crotty said.
Springbok team: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Francois Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff. Bench: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Jean-Luc du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Handré Pollard, 23 Damian de Allende.
All Blacks team: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Sam Cane, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Scott Barrett, 4 Sam Whitelock, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Kane Hames. Bench: 16 Codie Taylor, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 David Havili.