Faf de Klerk, who plays for Sale Sharks in the English Premiership. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/JOHAN RYNNERS
Faf de Klerk, who plays for Sale Sharks in the English Premiership. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/JOHAN RYNNERS

Springboks scrumhalf Faf de Klerk has made himself available to help flyhalf Handrè Pollard with the kicking duties in the highly anticipated three-match Test series against traditional rivals England.

The first Test is at Ellis Park on Saturday with Bloemfontein and Cape Town hosting the other matches.

De Klerk has surprisingly established himself as one of the reliable kickers for the Sale Sharks in the English Premiership and he is ready to help the Springboks when needed.

An experienced campaigner of 11 matches for the Boks, the former Lions player is expected to start at No9 ahead of the uncapped trio of Ivan van Zyl, Cameron Wright and the highly rated Embrose Papier.

"There was a lot of criticism to [sic] my kicking game but I have always felt that I am a good kicker of the ball," he said as the Boks continued their preparations ahead of Saturday’s Test.

"I have been in a few pressure situations where I had to kick for a win in England and I know that there is added pressure when playing for the national team. I will raise my hand whenever the team needs me to kick and I will definitely do it with no problem."

In the English Premiership season that has just ended, De Klerk scored 97 points in 22 matches and managed 13 conversions and 17 penalties.

"I didn’t kick a lot at the Lions, but when I got to Sale there was a lot of emphasis on that aspect," De Klerk said.

"All the exits were on me and that was good for my game. There is no pressure, we just want to turn the Springboks’ fortunes around and what I have seen in camp is a lot of excitement, where everyone is buying into the mission.

"We just want to do well for the nation and prove that we can still play exciting rugby."

De Klerk expects the English players to target him as a ploy to limit his distribution.

"They always put pressure on the guys going forward and the kicking game, and they also try to put pressure on the nines," he said.

"Whether it is me or the other nine who is going to play, it is going to be the same. We must get our rucking plans in place and make sure that we are strong in that department and counter their lines.

"They have great ball carriers on the attack and we have to beat them in that even though they have been together since the Six Nations or longer.

"I think we have more threatening players in our team. We just need to be patient and believe in our structures.

"If you play a team like the All Blacks you may be better prepared as a result of Super Rugby, because it is a bit more of a running game.

"But luckily I have had a little bit of experience in both Super Rugby and the English Premiership. I am used to the running aspect and getting out of my half when under pressure."