South Africa: Kurt-Lee Arendse relishing Test debut for Springboks against Wales

·2-min read
 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

Bulls flyer Kurt-Lee Arendse is keen to showcase his skills at international level after he was named in South Africa’s starting line-up for Saturday’s Test against Wales in Bloemfontein.

Arendse was one of the Bulls’ star performers during their recent United Rugby Championship (URC) campaign and set that tournament alight with his outstanding attacking skills.

The former Springbok Sevens star was the URC’s leading player for metres gained (1086) and made the second most clean breaks in that tournament.

His excellent form has been rewarded with his call-up to the Boks senior side and he’s one of six players who are poised to make their Test debuts on Saturday – along with number eight Evan Roos and replacements Ntuthuko Mchunu (front-row), Ruan Nortje (second-row), Deon Fourie (back-row) and Grant Williams (scrum-half).

“I never thought I would be selected for the Springboks so early in my career, so I am very grateful for the opportunity,” Arendse told reporters.

“How the Sevens structures operates is very similar to the 15s systems, so it is great to be here and to keep learning.”

Pre-Test nerves

The 26-year-old admitted to being nervous when he found out that he would be making his senior Springbok debut against Wales but is determined to give a good account of himself.

“There were nerves when I heard I was selected for the team, and there are still a little nerves but I am just planning to take each day in my stride,” said Arendse.

When asked if he was aware that he would be one of a select group of players who would represent the Springboks and Blitzboks, he said: “To be honest I never thought about it. For me, all I’ll like to do is give my best on the field and enjoy the occasion.”

Meanwhile, experienced Bok front-row Trevor Nyakane is excited by the prospect of playing in Bloemfontein again, after spending several seasons with the Cheetahs during the early part of his career.

“I’m very excited to be back here in Bloemfontein, it has been some time,” he said.

“And as a team we are looking forward to it. Wales are a team that fight fire with fire, and we are aware of that.

“We know it is going to be tough, but just as they are going to do what they do best, we will try to do the same from our side.”

READ MORE: South Africa v Wales preview: Wayne Pivac’s men to stun Springboks and level series in Bloemfontein


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