De Allende on basher role: 'It's tough running into forwards'
SPOTLIGHT: Springbok centre Damian de Allende is ready to put his body on the line again at Twickenham on Saturday.
The 30-year-old, who has made the No.12 jersey his own in the Bok squad, played at outside centre in the 63-21 win over Italy in Genoa last weekend.
However, he will be back in his more familiar inside centre role for the clash against England this weekend.
De Allende admitted he enjoyed having a little more freedom to express himself out wide against the Italians.
“On playing No.12 or No.13, I don’t really mind,” said De Allende.
“It was nice playing No 13. There is a bit more space in the wider channels and I think against Italy we managed to get the ball there quite a bit which is quite nice.
“That was our plan for the weekend and if things go well for us this week, then maybe we can get the balls to the wider channels again.
“It’s nice to see guys like Kurt-Lee [Arendse] in space and hopefully we can get [Makazole] Mapimpi into space.
“Whether I play No.12 or No.13, hopefully, I get the ball into those channels again.”
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#⃣WATCH as @Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber explains the values that flyhalves Damian Willemse and Manie Libbok bring to the team #Rugby 🏉#RugbyUnion🌍#ENGvRSA 🏴V🇿🇦
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A big bruiser
With England being a sterner Test, De Allende is happy to be a bruiser again for his team as they look to end the international season on a high.
“It is tough running into three or four forwards at once, but we are here to serve each other,” said the centre.
“Whether I have to bash it up 10 times in a game or once and get the ball wide, I’ll do my role.”
Meanwhile, De Allende was one of the Boks included in World Rugby’s Dream Team for 2022.
His usual midfield partner Lukhanyo Am and hooker Malcolm Marx are the other Boks in the team.
De Allende described it as a bittersweet accolade.
“It’s nice. It would have been a lot sweeter if we won a couple of more games this year,” he explained.
“Without the help of the other players around, I wouldn’t be in this position.
“The individual award is great but we want to get things right as a team and be a lot more consistent.”