Cape Town – Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff says he has no preference when it comes to which role he plays on the field – whether it’s as the starting loosehead or part of the Bomb Squad.
The Boks will face England at Twickenham on Saturday, and while it’s always a highly anticipated one, the fact that these two sides faced each other in the 2019 World Cup final – when the Boks smashed Eddie Jones’ team 32-12 – will add even more spice to the encounter.
The Boks have already dealt with Wales and Scotland and just need to beat the English to make it three-out-of-three on their End of Year Tour.
At the weekend, Kitshoff, Malcolm Marx and Vincent Koch replaced the starting front row of Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi and Trevor Nyakane.
During a media briefing on Monday Kitshoff, who has been in top form for the world champions, was asked which role he prefers.
“I need to give credit to Ox, Bongi and Trevor. They lay a great foundation and they bring a lot of intensity in that first half. For us to come on we just need to stay on par with them. It’s a big role that we need to fulfil, but we’re more than happy to take it from there.
“It’s a very important part. It’s a part of the team, and the team comes first. Being a part of the Bomb Squad is really fun. Me, Malcolm and Vincent are probably some of the best friends in the team. I don’t have a preference (to start or be part of the Bomb Squad).”
Bok forwarded coach Deon Davids added that the transparency between coaches and players has been key to the units playing in tandem so effectively.
“There is complete transparency, the players know their role and whether they start or come off the bench,” David said. “There is always good competition. It’s important that everybody understands what is expected of them, and there is good buy-in to that.”
When asked if he is expecting former Bok forwards coach Matt Proudfoot – who is now with England – to play a role, Kitshoff said: “He will play a role, like all management members do. He knows the Bok players like the palm of his hand, he knows our strengths and weaknesses, so it will be a challenge. But as coach Deon said, we will do our homework and make sure that we prepare adequately.”