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The Springboks are planning to add to All Blacks’ misery, and plans are being put in place to tame the New Zealanders in the opening game of the Rugby Championship, Springbok lock Marvin Orie says.
Tension is building ahead of the Mbombela clash and the Boks are bracing themselves for a backlash from a New Zealand team reeling after a series defeat against Ireland.
The Boks are in a training camp preparing for back-to-back games against the All Blacks before embarking on a three-match tour to Australia and Argentina.
“For me to be involved with the national team it is a big privilege and an honour,” Orie said. “There are not many guys who have had the privilege so I’m just taking it day by day and doing my best to contribute to help the team do well.
“The All Blacks are known to have a strong set piece. They have a lot of world class players, specially in the second row.
“Luckily we also have world class players and the competition has been good and the preparation has gone well.
“We have spent a lot of time analysing and trying to get plans in place for them next week so its going to be an exciting challenge
“The team has had a good week of prep so far and hopefully we can put on a good show next week.”
The beleaguered All Blacks are set to be without lock Brodie Retallick for most of the Rugby Championship after he broke his cheekbone against Ireland.
Retallick left the field during the All Blacks’ 32-22 loss to Ireland after a head clash with Ireland prop Andrew Porter.
The 31-year-old is expected to be sidelined for up to two months.
To compound the All Blacks’ second row stocks conundrum, Crusaders captain Scott Barrett had to pull out of the third Test against Ireland with a knee problem after being slated to start at blindside flanker.
Ordinarily, Barrett would be the logical replacement for Retallick at lock, but Tupou Vaa’i, who replaced Retallick in the second half in Wellington, is now set to get more game-time alongside veteran Sam Whitelock.
The All Blacks added former Blues captain Patrick Tuipolutu to the squad and he got game-time off the bench in the second Test loss in Dunedin.
He will be part of the Rugby Championship mix, but Retallick’s 95-cap experience will be missed.
Uncapped Crusaders prop Fletcher Newell has been drafted into New Zealand's squad to replace the injured Ofa Tu’ungafasi.
Tu’ungafasi suffered a neck injury in the defeat to Ireland at Wellington and will remain in New Zealand along with injured teammates Retallick, Jack Goodhue and Nepo Laulala.
He will target a return for the home Test against Argentina in Christchurch on August 27.
After the Ireland defeat All Black coach Ian Foster said: “The only good thing that can come out of this is that we use it as fuel to get better.
“If we don’t learn, if we don’t use this whole experience of this series to learn, and be better, then it is just wasted.
“We’ve got to pick ourselves up quickly, look at solutions, look at positives and find a way to go forward from it because if we don’t it is wasted,” he said.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.