Debutant winger Sbu Nkosi says he is ready for the aerial battle that the English will bring in the first Test at Emirates Park on Saturday.
The Sharks winger will run out for the first time in Springbok colours, in a relatively inexperienced back three that comprises of fellow debutant Aphiwe Dyantyi on the left wing and 41 capped Willie le Roux, who returns to the Springbok fold after a nearly two-year hiatus.
Nkosi earns his first Bok cap on the back of impressive performances for the Sharks in Super Rugby and says he is ready for the aerial bombardment that George Ford and Owen Farrell will bring to the party.
“I have done a lot of work on my positioning on the field and that is important because you need to be in the right place to be able to field the high balls that guys like Ford and Farrell will test you with.”
Despite being a debutant, Nkosi says he isn’t nervous about the occasion.
“I’m more excited than nervous, really. I have great guys surrounding me and they give me great confidence. We have prepared really well, and we have paid a lot of attention to detail so that doesn’t make me nervous.”
Nkosi returns to Emirates Airline Park having played his junior rugby for the Lions after graduating from Jeppe Boys High in Johannesburg. The 22-year-old says he is also excited to be back playing at the ground that holds special tradition in South African rugby.
“I’m very excited to be making my debut here. Ellis Park is a very special ground in South African rugby. It is even more special for me personally because I played my junior rugby for the Lions and Ellis Park was always the be all and end all for me.”
The Springboks will be hoping to get the three-Test match series off to a good start in the first Test in Johannesburg, before moving down to Bloemfontein for the second encounter and the final game at Newlands in Cape Town.
Kick off on Saturday is at 17h05.