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De Allende: Northern hemisphere sides must be respected

Springbok centre Damian de Allende says the team is very focused in the build-up to the Test against France in Paris on Saturday night.

Damian de Allende. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN – Springbok centre Damian de Allende says the team is very focused in the build-up to the Test against France in Paris on Saturday night.

The Test is the second match of the Boks’ Tour of the United Kingdom and France. England edged South Africa 12-11 at in a tense clash which saw South Africa rue their missed chances.

De Allende said that despite the narrow defeat at Twickenham, the Boks will not change their approach.

“We are focusing on ourselves and where we can rectify the mistakes we made against England so that we can improve and play better against France.”

The powerful midfielder struggled with injuries earlier this season, but since his return to fitness, De Allende has resumed his partnership with Jesse Kriel at outside centre and Handre Pollard at flyhalf to decent effect.

“We are constantly working on making our combination better, as well with the other players in the squad who also cover the midfield positions, and then also with our teammates on the outside of midfield.

“The coaches put a lot of emphasis on preparation and we work hard during training camps and obviously fine-tune our game plan in the week leading up to a Test.

“Our approach to the matches up in the northern hemisphere has also changed a bit because you have to respect the conditions in Europe and the way the game is played up here. We learnt a lot from the Test that we lost against England in Cape Town in June, in very wet conditions.

“I think we are getting there, and we are working on how to vary our game so that we can constantly look for opportunities on the field.”

The team to play against France at the Stade de France will be named on Thursday.

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