'We've got a few plans': Will Jordan details how to beat Springboks
He might be one of the lesser experienced players in the All Blacks squad, but the significance of this weekend’s test against the Springboks isn’t lost on Will Jordan.
In fact, it will be the first time the 23-year-old starlet has squared off against the South Africans in his eight-test career.
It will be quite the test to make your first appearance against the reigning world champions in given the Rugby Championship clash in Townsville will be the 100th match between the two countries a century after they first met in Dunedin in 1921.
As he prepares to take part in what is often regarded as rugby’s greatest rivalry, one that has been 100 years in the making, Jordan is well aware of the magnitude of Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash in Townsville.
“Obviously it’s a hugely important clash this week,” Jordan told reporters earlier this week.
“There’s been a lot of build-up between the 100th test between the two countries and, I think for me, with my first time playing the Boks, it brings back some pretty fond memories of being a young fella and getting up in the mornings and watching the ABs play in South Africa.
“Expecting a hugely physical battle and just a real tough test match.”
As if he and his fellow youngsters needed any more motivation in the lead-up to the match, where a win is all that is required for the Kiwis to clinch the Rugby Championship, Jordan revealed All Blacks boss Ian Foster and the team’s leadership group pulled the squad aside to illustrate the importance of their rivalry with the Springboks.
“We had a little bit of a scene set at the start of the week from Foz and the leaders around the expectations of this week and what it means,” he said.
“I think the lads have set a good tone there with making sure that we’ve really built throughout the week and, come Saturday, we’re ready to go.
“There hasn’t been too much advice or anything like that. As young players, you’re just encouraged to go out there and still be confident and play our game and keep doing what we’ve been doing over each of the last couple of months.”
If Jordan can play his game, then expect his attacking traits to flourish against the Springboks as he looks to extend his superb try-scoring record in test rugby, which currently stands at 11 tries from eight outings.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) September 25, 2021
However, while there is an eagerness for Jordan to play to his strengths, he has acknowledged what is set to come his way as an outside back.
Plenty has been made of South Africa’s conservative game plan in recent weeks, and much of it revolves around their high volume of kicking.
As such, Jordan expects to his aerial skills to be tested frequently throughout the match at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, but he is confident he is able to defuse the array of bombs set to be deployed by the Springboks.
“It’s probably no secret that we’re going to get a few high balls on the weekend,” Jordan said.
“That’s a huge part of the South Africans’ DNA with their ability to kick and put pressure on teams and really apply pressure that way, so, as a back three, we’ve got a few plans in place on how to combat that.
“I think the main thing is when the ball goes up in the air, it’s a competition, so making sure we’re really up for competing in the air and doing our best to get up and win it back.”
Join RugbyPass+ now and be a part of the conversation with all-new commenting!