All Blacks captain Cane ready for ‘toughest Test against the full package’ | The Citizen



All Blacks captain Sam Cane is preparing himself and his team for the toughest of Test matches, when they take on the Springboks in their opening match of the Rugby Championship at the Mbombela Stadium on Saturday.

The All Blacks and Springboks always seem to bring the best out of each other, with most games being incredibly tight, as shown last year when the All Blacks won the first match by two points, before the Boks won the second by just one point.

Playing in South Africa at altitude then adds another dimension to that, which the visitors will have to be prepared for having not experienced it in a while.

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“These Test matches over here in South Africa are some of the toughest I have ever been involved in,” admitted Cane.

“I love playing here and any time that a Test match is super tough, it is most enjoyable when you walk off the field knowing you have given absolutely everything and I know it will be like that on Saturday.”

“Against Wales they (the Boks) made a few changes between Test matches. They have an incredible amount of depth in their squad. I think we know what we are going to get when we face them.

“It is going to be a confrontational, physical battle, with big men coming around the corner, running and cleaning hard. Then some of the skill and speed in the midfield and with the outside backs is right up there with the best in the world. So they are the full package.”

Last outing

It has been just under four years since the All Blacks were last in South Africa, with their last outing an incredibly tight 32-30 win at Loftus Versfeld, which they will be hoping to repeat over the weekend.

“It’s good to be back. It has been a long time since we were last here. It was one of those things we took for granted when we were doing it twice a year,” said Cane.

“We have a few guys who are here in South Africa for the first time, which reminds you how long it’s been. But it’s been good to get here and open the lungs up a bit at altitude and click into the time zone.”

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