Faf de Klerk confident ahead of Boks' biggest test: 'We've done our homework'

Faf de Klerk confident ahead of Boks' biggest test: 'We've done our homework'

Faf de Klerk says he has no worries about being the Springboks' only out-and-out scrumhalf for Saturday's Rugby World Cup final.

South Africa's brains trust have taken a calculated risk by picking no backup halfback for this weekend's massive encounter, opting for a 7-1 split on the bench with fullback Willie le Roux the only backline player among the replacements.

With neither Cobus Reinach, Jaden Hendrikse or Grant Williams in the 23, it means that there is extra pressure on De Klerk this weekend.

Not that De Klerk is particularly feeling the strain when asked about what his preparation will be like for the showpiece event.

"A big part of it is preparing the hair," he joked.

"This week does feel a bit longer than usual, which is great. I think the more time we get in this last bit together is special.

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"We have focused on getting closer as a group in this last week. spending a bit more time together off the training pitch, chatting through our experiences. I can already feel that unity with the group.

"A lot of sleep, go to bed late and wake up late and then have a nap, we have been playing 9pm games every weekend so the boys have their routine down.

"It's a normal week for us in terms of that. We have done our [homework] on New Zealand, we know them very well by now and I think one great thing about this team is it has a lot of experience and guys that have gone through this situation in the past."

De Klerk was also questioned about whether the selection call alters his approach to the match, especially with the need to stay fit during the encounter.

"No, not really," the scrumhalf responded. "We've played like this before and I've played a lot of 80-minute games in my life. If you're going to pace yourself, you're going to lose this game.

"Luckily, we've got Kwagga [Smith] covering nine as well, as he doesn't get tired, so that's fine. Cheslin's also been training there, so we've got back-up, but hopefully I can be there at the end when we win. I just have to make sure I'm recovered well for the game."

WATCH: Selected matches will also be available on SABC Sport.com's live streaming channel

De Klerk is set to go head-to-head with Aaron Smith in a duel which has proved to be crucial to Springboks v All Blacks matches in the past.

The Boks face a much-improved New Zealand side on Saturday and De Klerk believes that the efforts of Smith, both on and off the field, have been a big reason why.

"The way they've turned it around this year after playing [and losing to] us and the French shows a team who is close together, and the belief they have," he added.

"They had a lot of scrutiny after those games but they've turned it around and are playing unbelievable rugby. Playing with a lot more confidence. It's good to see a side who can internally sort things out.

"They have such great players and leaders and I think Aaron Smith is one of the best guys for that. He's the gel, on and off the field, sharing his experiences and getting through tough times in his career.

"He's been a great player for New Zealand and one of the guys I've definitely looked up to. Hopefully I can get one over on him for this game."

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