Springboks – “There Are No Easy Tests Against Wales” – Pieter-Steph du Toit

 

Springbok captain Pieter-Steph du Toit expected a physical onslaught from Wales at Twickenham on Saturday as the Boks kick off their 2024 season while admitting facing the Welsh had personal meaning for him given his history with the team.

The sides meet at 15h00 (SA time) on Saturday in front of a crowd of more than 60,000 people, and with the match being hosted on neutral ground, it is expected to be a true spectacle.

The showdown will be the second time Du Toit has led the Springboks onto the field after last having the honour against the same opponents in Washington in 2018 – a Test the Boks lost 22-20.

“There are a few new players in our team, and we are playing in front of a big crowd at Twickenham, so this is a massive privilege for each player, and we want to make it a special occasion,” said Du Toit. “For me personally it’s a huge honour, not only to be in the match-day squad, but also to captain the team.

“It almost feels as though I have a special bond with Wales because I made my Test debut against them and captained the Boks against them before, and now I have another opportunity to do so.”

The Springboks may go into the match as favourites, after winning their second consecutive Rugby World Cup title last year in France, but Du Toit dismissed the notion, saying his charges were bracing themselves for a tough encounter.

“In our last 10 matches, we’ve each won five games, which shows that there are no easy Test matches against them,” said Du Toit. “They are very physical and have big guys in their team. Over and above that, they play with a lot of heart, so we expect them to keep going until the final whistle. They are the type of team that always keeps coming hard at you.”