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Springbok star Damian De Allende explains the difference between South African and Irish Rugby

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Friday Jun 7, 2024

Double Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok centre Damian De Allende offered a fascinating insight into the difference between the Springboks and Ireland ahead of their upcoming test series.

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Chatting to former Scotland captain Jim Hamilton on ‘The Big Jim Show’, De Allende discussed topics ranging from head coach Rassie Erasmus to Ireland’s head coach Andy Farrell and their New Zealand-born trio of James Lowe, Jamison Gibson-Park and Bundee Aki.

Asked by Hamilton about why it appears to mean more to South Africans to represent the Springboks than other nations, the centre said, “I think we get the emotional driver.”

Paying homage to Erasmus, De Allende said he felt there was a key difference between the Bok boss and Ireland head coach Andy Farrell.

“It’s hard to say because I think Andy Farrell is English, so I don’t know if he knows much about Ireland and its history, what has happened in its past, and things like that.

“Because Rassie is South African and because he loves South Africa so much and he has played for the Springboks and it means so much to him, he knows how to make us tick as South Africans, and he knows how to make South Africans tick.”

Focusing on South Africa’s upcoming series against Ireland, De Allende was asked about his time with Irish giants Munster and what the emotional difference was between Irish Rugby and South African Rugby.

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“So I don’t know if they have an emotional drive. The Irish don’t strike me as people who are emotional, but I think South Africans are very emotional.

“I think because a lot of us have tough pasts, and I am not saying I don’t think the Irish guys have tough pasts, but there is a lot of us that came up from absolutely nothing, and a lot of us appreciate that so much and appreciate what we have now.

“But there will always be that emotional drive that pushes us over the line or gets us going just because we always think about what we didn’t have and what we have now. If that makes sense.”

 

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Watch the exclusive reveal-all episode of Walk the Talk with Ardie Savea as he chats to Jim Hamilton about the RWC 2023 experience, life in Japan, playing for the All Blacks and what the future holds. Watch now for free on RugbyPass TV

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