Calm approach from Burger

Date published: July 24 2015

Schalk Burger exuded calmness a day before his first Test as Springbok captain when South Africa host New Zealand at Ellis Park on Saturday.

Back-row Burger was appointed Bok captain earlier this week and said it will probably be one of the biggest challenges of his long international career.

Ellis Park is sold out for the Rugby Championship match as the Boks will be looking to emulate their impressive victory in the corresponding fixture last year.

"It doesn't get any bigger than this, facing the All Blacks at Emirates Airline Park," said Burger.

"Playing rugby in the garden as youngsters, it was always the Boks against the All Blacks. But this is obviously different and it will be a very tight fixture between the two top ranked sides in the world."

Burger said the team prepared the same as they always do for Tests and had a good week in Johannesburg.

"A lot has been said and written about New Zealand this week, but for us, it's about what we want to achieve, getting our ducks in a row and putting in the best possible performance on Saturday," said Burger.

"We certainly don't need any added motivation for a match such as this one as the buzz around the hotel and within the team has been great.

"I'm just staying as calm as possible, it's who I am and I won't be doing anything different tomorrow, apart from the privilege of wearing the captain's armband. First and foremost it’s about the team and our own performance though.

"Yes, the Rugby World Cup is getting closer and we want to win as many Test as possible and get momentum, because that is important in sport. 

"If you don't have momentum then you strive for it and look for it, and it's quite tough to get. But it's just as important to get a good victory in our first home Test of the season."

"It will be a tight fixture and we have to play with composure and find ways to close out the game."

Burger said the Boks wouldn't drastically change their patterns or style despite playing with two openside flankers as Heinrich Brussouw returns to the side. 

"Traditionally they are both openside flankers but both of them like to be involved in more facets than just fetching. They want to carry the ball and play."