Centurion – Springbok utility back Kurt-Lee Arendse says he is hoping his strong showing against Argentina in the Rugby Championship over the weekend, will stand him in good stead ahead of the end of year tour to Europe in November.
Arendse, who was one of try-scorers in the team’s 38-21 victory against Argentina in their closing match of the competition in Durban on Saturday admitted that while they were disappointed to lose out on the title, their three back-to-back victories would serve as an important confidence booster going into the tour.
The Boks will face Ireland, France, Italy, and England on the tour, and with Ireland, France, and England all in the top five sides on the world rankings, Arendse said they needed to be up for another massive challenge.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber and his team, however, can draw comfort from the fact that they had a better net points’ difference in their respective mini-series against New Zealand, Australia, and Argentina in the Rugby Championship, despite losing out on the title, as they prepare for the year-end tour.
“It would be fantastic to be back in the mix for the year-end tour,” said Arendse. “It’s going to be a tough tour against challenging opposition, so it would be great to have the opportunity to test ourselves against them.”
Arendse added: “It was very disappointing for the team that we couldn’t secure the Castle Lager Rugby Championship title, but it would be great if we could carry the momentum of winning our three Tests into the tour.
“The Castle Lager Rugby Championship is a tough competition, and we are expecting the same from the teams we will face in November, so it will be important to leave South Africa in form and with some confidence and winning momentum.”
After being handed a four-week suspension for a dangerous tackle against New Zealand in Nelspruit, Arendse was delighted to be back in the fold for the final Test against Argentina and said he hoped to be selected for the year-end tour.
“It is very special to be part of this group of players,” said Arendse. “I was out and Canan (Moodie) came in and did the job on the wing, so it was good to be back for the final Test, and that made scoring the try even more special.”
“In my time off it made me think a lot about my rugby, what I would like to improve on and reflect on a few things. So, it was good for me, and it made it made me even more hungry to return to action.”
The Springboks departed for their franchises and clubs following Saturday’s Test, and while some players will enjoy a short break, others will run out for their respective clubs and franchises in the next few weeks before the squad assembles for their preparation camp for the year-end tour at the end of October.