Adrian Jacobs is not concerned about the pressure that he has to contend with as first-choice outside centre of the Springboks.
Liam Del Carme writes in Beeld that not only does he have to keep the highly-rated Jaque Fourie out of the side, but many Bok supporters also expect him to fail in the next match.
Jacobs, however, has come up trumps and Fourie will have to pull out all the stops to win his place back.
“Peter de Villiers (Bok coach) gave me my chance when Jaque was injured. There were many critics, but when I look back on this year’s games I think things went well,” said Jacobs.
“I know I have to perform well. I know Jaque will grab his opportunity with both hands when he gets it. That is what I’m trying to do.”
Jacobs is deserving of the praise that is coming his way, but he also credited the presence of Jean de Villiers on his inside. Jacobs has scored tries in four of South Africa’s last five Tests.
“Jean is a phenomenal player. I’m just fortunate to be playing with him and not against him,” said Jacobs.
Another Bok who has to meet high standards to keep his place is No 8 Pierre Spies.
Ryan Kankowski has a fabulous season behind him, but Spies has the inside track. He admits the wet conditions require a different approach from the Boks.
“I think you’re compelled to adapt to the conditions in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s very different to what we’re used to in the Tri-Nations,” said Spies.
“The game against Wales was our first on tour. It was not our best. We wanted to keep the ball close to the forwards.”
Spies believes the experience the Boks have of playing under the ELVs will count in their favour.
“We used the ELVs in the Currie Cup and I think it suits us. We adapted better than other teams,” he said.
“It can count in our favour, but we have to use it to our advantage. I like the ELVs. Sometimes it gets a bit hectic in the rucks.
“The referee’s interpretations aren’t always in your favour, but that’s part of the game.”Tweet