Sánchez: ‘Nerves are inevitable’

Date published: October 21 2015

Argentina fly-half Nicolás Sánchez hopes to be as composed as possible off the kicking tee this Sunday in the Rugby World Cup semi-final.

Sánchez has scored 74 points so far in the tournament, second only to Scotland's Greig Laidlaw.

Looking ahead to Sunday's huge game Sánchez stressed the need for him to go into the contest in the right frame of mind.

“It is important to get as close to 100 per cent as possible. I will have to have the right mentality when I’m kicking because the match could come down to one or two points," he said.

“Nerves are inevitable, but I will try to stay calm, not let the nerves get to me and ignore the pressure.”

Working with Jonny Wilkinson at Toulon has helped Sánchez fine-tune the mental aspect of his game and he was full of praise for the former England star.

“When people ask me, ‘Who is the greatest player ever’, I say Wilkinson. He is a legend and I tried to take advantage of his knowledge as much as possible," Sánchez revealed.

“Wilkinson worked with me on my kicking and made me focus on the details. One important thing we worked on was the mentality that a kicker has to have, and he taught me how to be focused.”

Keeping a clear head was also essential for Argentina last Sunday as they resisted an Irish comeback, with Sánchez crediting the senior players in the side for stepping up.

“They said we need to be confident, quiet and relaxed," he added. 

"After our yellow card (Ramiro Herrera) and conceding some penalties, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe told everyone to stay calm and relax. You could see his experience coming through.”