All Blacks veteran eyes second Test against Boks
NEWS: All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock is hoping he will be ready to face the Springboks this year, but not in the historic 100th Test between the two countries.
That 100th Test will take place in Townsville on September 25, but it’s the Test a week later on October 2 Whitelock is targeting.
The 32-year-old veteran will be the first of the players on paternity leave to return to camp in Australia. He flies to Brisbane on Friday to go into two weeks quarantine and he will complete that on the day of the first Test against South Africa.
Whitelock is currently undertaking intensive personal training to make himself available for selection for that second Test against the Boks.
“I’ve always loved playing against them [the Springboks] because it’s so hard,” Whitelock told allblacks.com.
“They’re big, they’re strong, they’re physical. They get their best ball carriers, and they’re going to run at you from 20m away.
“They don’t care if you’re in the way, they’re there for that physical battle.
Following the birth of his third child, Samuel Whitelock will rejoin the team 👊 pic.twitter.com/fcBna12aOq
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) September 8, 2021
The old foe
He added: “Whether they [Boks] run at you or they change and use their feet late, I think that’s one of the reasons for us as Kiwis we love to play against the old foe.
“It’s going to be pretty hard watching that 100th Test match [when I’m] almost out.
“How I deal with that is going to be really interesting to see how I set up myself for when I do get out. Hopefully, it sets me up to perform.”
Whitelock said it was hard being a spectator when his team beat the Wallabies 38-21 in their Round Two clash in Perth last weekend.
“I thought the guys reacted well to a few curve balls thrown at them, a couple of head knocks, a red card. I was happy the boys stayed nice and calm, and you could see they were working things out as they were going.
“It’s really nice when you see the team perform without you but, at the same time, you want to be out there helping them perform,” he said.