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Damian de Allende hits out at Irish media in explosive interview with Jim Hamilton

BY Jack Tunney  ·  Friday Jun 7, 2024

World Cup winning centre Damian de Allende has struck man a nerve in his recent blockbuster interview with RugbyPass TV presenter, Jim Hamilton.

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The host of ‘The Big Jim Show’ took Damian de Allende on one of his famous ‘walk and talks’, as he questioned the talented Springbok on world cups, rivalries with Ireland, and much, much more.

Speaking from outside the stadium of Saitama Wild Knights where he now plays his rugby, it’s been De Allende’s comments surrounding Ireland that have caused the biggest stir. Here is what he’s had to say:

First game vs Ireland at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, on Saturday, 6th July 2024

“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.

“With Ireland, the biggest threat is the breakdown, they are so good at the breakdown. No matter if they are getting dominated in contact, they still manage to get the ball out quick enough.”

South Africa’s issue with the Irish press

“The Test match in Dublin in 2022 was a tough loss, so there have been a few tough games against them,” De Allende said.

“We lost to them in 2017 when they beat us 38-3. The way the media spoke, they completely disrespected us.

“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,” he said.

“We never got that luxury after winning the 2019 World Cup because of covid and everything like that.”

Culture clash

“We get the emotional driver. It’s hard to say. Andy Farrell is English so I don’t know if he knows much about Ireland, their history and what has happened in the past,

“Because Rassie is South African and he loves South Africa so much – he’s played for the Springboks – he knows how to make us tick as South Africans and he knows how to make South Africa tick.

“The Irish don’t strike me as people that are emotional, I think South Africans are very emotional because a lot of us have tough pasts.

“I’m not saying Irish guys don’t have tough pasts but there’s a lot of us that came up from absolutely nothing and a lot of us appreciate that so much and appreciate what we had now. But there will always be that emotional drive that pushes us over the line or gets us going.

“We always think back to what we didn’t have, and what we have now.”

Fans have had plenty to say after the interview went live, here are some of the snapshots:

“They are driven by emotion, but it’s not positive emotion. It’s resentment, hatred and anger”, one fan said. “All the most destructive emotions. While the Springboks are fuelled by love. Love for one another and love for the people of South Africa. The Springboks don’t play for cups. They play for the people!”

“Thé différence is, South Africa have never beaten Ireland at a RWC”, another added. “I think he’s popped too many steroids, what a clown.”

A Springbok supporter replied, saying: “Ireland have never got past the quarters, I wonder who the clown is.”

Watch the full interview on RugbyPass Tv.

Walk the Talk – RugbyPass TV

In the latest episode of Walk the Talk, Jim Hamilton chats with double World Cup winner Damian de Allende about all things Springbok rugby, including RWC2023 and the upcoming Ireland series. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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