Planet Rugby

De Allende ready to shine at 13

14th August 2014 07:33

Share:

Damian de Allende Springboks camp

Keen to pull up his socks: Damian de Allende

If the pressure of making his Test debut for South Africa isn't enough, Stormers centre Damien de Allende will have to do so playing in an unfamiliar position.

Just like his Stormers and Western Province team-mate, Jaco Taute, the broad shouldered back-line player has been thrown in at the deep end as the Springboks look to get their Rugby Championship campaign off to a winning start against Argentina at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

Instead of wearing his usual number 12 jersey, he will be in the number 13 jumper come matchday.

As was the case with Taute, De Allende has spent very little time at outside centre, but unlike Taute the 22-year-old Capetonian only became interested in the 15-man game when he was at high school.

De Allende did not follow the traditional Springbok route which gives players who featured in the Craven Week an easier way in.

He was only introduced to the game late in high school as his main interests were football and cricket.

The long suffering Liverpool FC fan admitted on Wednesday that the unfamiliar position does complicate matters, but insisted he is ready to give his all for both team and country.

"It does (make it more challenging playing out of position) and I think with Jean playing on the inside it helps quite a bit, but it is still exciting times and I'm looking forward to it," said De Allende.

"I played 13 last year in the Currie Cup opener against the Bulls. It is a while ago but it is a high level of rugby."

De Allende admitted that he prefers being closer to the action and Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer hinted that he would be used as a first-phase line-breaker and decribed the youngster as a world class talent.

De Allende agreed that his role in the team would not be that much different from what he is used to.

"I would not say it is about by skills set, it is about making the right decision at the right time and identifying the space on the outside and behind the defenders," he explained.

Having missed the chance to make his debut during the June internationals because of injury, he was pleased that he was given another chance.

He said that Meyer is expecting him to front-up in the physical department, but added that nobody is expecting miracles just yet.

Not even the praise Meyer gave him when he announced his team would make any difference on the way he approaches this great day in his career.

"There is obviously a lot of pressure for anyone on their debut, but when I spoke to Heyneke he asked me to go out there and enjoy myself and try to play like I did in Super Rugby," said De Allende.

"There is a lot of pressure, but him saying that (lauding his skills) takes a bit of pressure off me."

For those who have followed his career there will also be a few surprises.

De Allende will be pulling up his socks in direct contradiction to his personal preference at provincial level.

"Since high school I've played with my socks down and I know in certain teams it is tradition to play with your socks up and I'll have to make that adjustment if necessary," he said.

Asked who his role models in rugby were, the relatively new guy in the rugby world said: "I didn't really know rugby that well when I was in high school, but I've looked up to Gio Aplon quite a bit because he isn't the biggest of rugby players, but he is a phenomenal player and has a lot of heart and is very brave."

By Michael Mentz
@Michael_Mentz

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
Friday , September 26
Taranaki vs Auckland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39