Nonu wary of Springbok centres

Date published: July 24 2015

Veteran All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu expects a tough challenge when he lines up against an inexperienced Springbok midfield in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Nonu and his midfield partner Conrad Smith form one of the most experienced centre combinations ever to play the game, and their duel with the Boks' new midfield duo of Damian de Allende and Jesse Kriel is expected to be one of the highlights of the Test.

When Nonu was told that De Allende's defensive technique was seen as a weakness – statistics show that the Springbok inside centre missed 30 tackles for the Stormers during Super Rugby – he disagreed.

"That's a surprising stat because I have seen him tackle," he told Fairfax Media

"When we (the Hurricanes) played the Stormers this year we did a lot of analysis around the No 12 and he was the main ball carrier.

"I don't agree with that stat. Hence why he is playing for South Africa at No 12. We better measure up and be prepared."

Nonu said although the All Blacks have analysed the Springboks thoroughly, it was important to react quickly when confronted by the unexpected.

"We never assume stuff," he added.

"There is so much analysis we can do on a team but players really react on their instincts.

"We can look at all the clips of how their backline is going to play but from nine to 15 they are pretty dangerous."