For Damian de Allende, the Ireland Tests are about respect

For Damian de Allende, the Ireland Tests are about respect

Springbok centre Damian de Allende wants to put some respect back in the green and gold jersey during the upcoming Ireland series.

Ireland arrive in the Republic this month for a highly anticipated two-match Test series. In recent times, the rising northern hemisphere giants have built a favourable record against the Boks, winning eight out of the last 12 meetings. However, the visitors have just one victory on South African soil, a 20-26 win in Cape Town in 2016.

Their most recent clash was in the 2023 Rugby World Cup pool stages, where Andy Farrell's charges edged the defending champions 13-8 in a nail-biting affair.

This record - combined with the fact that de Allende was part of the Bok setup for many of those losses - means that the incoming series is a chance at redemption for de Allende.

Speaking to Jim Hamilton on Rugby Pass TV this week, the World Cup-winning centre previewed the titanic clash.

"The Test match in Dublin in 2022 was a tough loss (16-19), so there have been a few tough games against them," said the 32-year-old.

"We lost to them in 2017 when they beat us 38-3. The way the media spoke, they completely disrespected us. So for us as a group and for us as Springboks it is about getting respect back, not their respect, but our own respect. We don't need to but we really want to beat Ireland. It is going to be an incredible Test match.

"I'm looking forward to it the most because it is the first Test match for us together as a group after we have won the World Cup in front of our own crowd.

"We never got that luxury after winning the 2019 World Cup because of Covid and everything like that. That first game against Ireland at Loftus, whether I play or not, it is just going to feel almost like a war.

"A lot of people give them credit for being number one in the world because they play such good footy but that's going to be a flippin' incredible battle."

Like de Allende, Bok coach Rassie Erasmus knows the score.

"The last score we got against them or the first score when I started out as coach was the 39-3, something like that, so we just want to rectify that," said Erasmus in the first Springbok press conference of the year.

Rest assured, the four-time World Champions will be looking to make a statement against their Irish foes. 

READ MORE: Springboks sweating on availability of key locks ahead of start of season