Piledriving Springbok centre Damian de Allende is eager to power South Africa to a first win against England at Twickenham in eight years when the teams resume their rivalry on Saturday. DYLAN JACK reports.
Throughout his 69 Test career, De Allende has only tasted victory once at Twickenham – against Wales in in the 2015 World Cup quarter-finals.
The 30-year-old missed the Springboks’ 31-28 victory in his debut Test season in 2014, which remains South Africa’s last win over England at the London-based stadium.
“I haven’t won against England at Twickenham. It would be incredible,” the centre told the media from London. “This is always a great encounter and England is a great team, and even though their results have also been up and down recently, these games have always been closely fought.”
Last year, the Springboks came agonisingly close to breaking their drought, but a last-minute penalty from flyhalf Marcus Smith snatched victory for England, who come into this match on the back of a rallying to hold the All Blacks to a draw.
“Last year we played well in patches. Hopefully we are more consistent this weekend,” said De Allende. “We had a few moments where we should have won the game, but we also gave away a few silly penalties in the last five minutes. We lost our composure and forced it a bit too much. We have spoken about it and learned from it. Hopefully we put things right on Saturday.
“It’s a great opportunity. This is a massive occasion. The draw with New Zealand showed you can never write England off. A lot of teams would also have kicked the ball out in the last play of that game.”
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