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Springboks 'bomb squad' star aims for big Twickenham finale

By Paul Smith
Steven Kitshoff will play a big part for South Africa at Twickenham on Saturday.

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Should South Africa repeat their 2019 World Cup final win over England at Twickenham on Saturday they will complete their first Autumn International Series clean sweep since 2013.

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Following a series win over the British & Irish Lions, the Springboks needed a win over New Zealand to leave a below-par Rugby Championship campaign on a high.

But according to experienced prop Steven Kitshoff the tourists need a display of similar quality to that seen on the Gold Coast in October to leave London with the spoils.

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“This is our last chance this year to make our presence felt and it’s a great opportunity to build momentum going into the 2022 season and to maintain our no.1 spot in the world,” said Kitshoff.

“This is very important to us, so we want to play as well as possible this weekend.

“They are a physical side, they can play with ball in hand, and they have a good kicking game as well as set pieces. We know what we need to do and we want to tick all the boxes we need to tick going into this match.”

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The scrum is always a big part of any England-South Africa contest and following South Africa’s recent set-piece domination of Wales it again looks likely to play a big part in determining the outcome of Saturday’s test.

England’s scrum coach Matt Proudfoot is a recent former Springboks forwards coach, but Kitshoff believes his team’s methods have changed significantly since Proudfoot’s last involvement in 2019.

“Matt played a similarly big role to the other coaches in the team winning the Rugby World Cup in 2019,” he said.

“Obviously having worked with some of us from a young age (at the Stormers and later with the Springboks) he knows us very well.

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“But that said, we’ve grown as a team in the last few years and we’ll be doing our homework just as they will going into this game, so we’ll go out there and do our best.”

At the same press conference assistant coach Deon Davids confirmed there are no new injury concerns for the Springboks ahead of the England game.

He went on to challenge his players to end a lengthy season which began with a conditioning camp in Bloemfontein in June on a high note.

“It’s always special to play against England at Twickenham and we are in a position in which we can carry some momentum into the final Test on tour and hopefully finish the year on a high note,” he said.

“It would certainly be a great reward for the players to finish off such a challenging season with a victory against England.

“England are a quality side and they have a good coach in Eddie Jones.

“It’s going to be a challenging game, and as a team, we’d like to build on the lessons learned in the Tests against Wales and Scotland.

“We know we have to be focused and task orientated this week, and we will place a big emphasis on our structures and systems.

“England will present unique challenges in different areas of the game, but we know where we need to improve, and we’d like to build on the momentum we achieved in the last two games.”

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