Deon Fourie relishing every second of late Springbok opportunity

Deon Fourie relishing every second of late Springbok opportunity

Deon Fourie never thought he would be getting a chance to represent the Springboks at this late stage in his career, and he's determined to make every moment count.

At the age of 36, Fourie is relishing his time in the Bok squad and admits he is desperate to grab what must surely be his last chance of representing South Africa in a Rugby World Cup.

A formidable flanker and ball poacher who can double up as a hooker, Fourie was thrilled to be named in Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber's starting lineup for Saturday's Rugby World Cup warm-up game against Argentina in Buenos Aires - the first of three for the defending world champions.

Many feel Fourie could play a role similar to the one Schalk Brits played at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, but Fourie said, if afforded the opportunity, he would like to carve his own path.

"If I play my cards right, I'd fulfil that (Brits') role anytime, but hopefully I won't be seen as a Schalk Brits, rather Deon Fourie," he said.

"When the Springboks won the RWC in 2019 I was still playing in the French second division, and I was on a train on the way back from a match. So, it would mean a lot if I could be there."

With a special aura around the Springbok No 6 jersey - Rugby World Cup-winning captains Siya Kolisi and Francois Pienaar both donned the shirt - Fourie was aware of the responsibility he has when he lines up against the Pumas at Estadio Velez Sarsfield on Saturday.

"If you had told me a few years ago I would have had the No 6 jersey on my back I would have laughed," he said. "It's a big number in South Africa, so hopefully I can do it justice."

Fourie - like his team-mates - expects an epic battle against Argentina, and he knows the Pumas will play with even more emotion this weekend following their one-point defeat at Ellis Park - while hooker Agustin Creevy looks set to become the first Argentinean player to play 100 Tests.

"As a team we have to handle the first few minutes of the game," he said.

"They'll play with a lot of emotion, but that can only carry a team so far. We just need to stick to our plan and give everything and hopefully the result will go our way."

The Springboks have Thursday off to rest and recover from their training block early in the week and will complete their preparations for the match at Friday's captain's run.

The clash kicks off at 21h10 SA time and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

READ MORE: Jacques Nienaber explains why Bongi Mbonambi was named Springbok captain