Damian Willemse, Springbok opener, is adamant that the world champions are heading in the “right direction” despite the team suffering consecutive defeats on their November European tour.
The Boks lost to Ireland (19-16) and France (30-26) on consecutive Saturdays and next time they will face Italy, which shocked Australia over the weekend. The four-test tour of the world champions then concludes with a match against England on 26 November.
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“We are going in the right direction, at the moment we are not getting the right results,” said Willemse AFP after Saturday’s defeat in Marseille.
He added: “This result, and last week’s result, does not define this group.”
Willemse enjoyed a good outing against France, including a decisive late penalty, after receiving much criticism for the kicks and overall handling of the game against Ireland the week before. It was Willemse’s fourth test as titular No. 10 after being primarily as a full-back.
“It’s nice to have the experience. The coaches supported me, which helps a lot, “said Willemse.
“We need to reorganize”
On Saturday, Willemse’s team will head to Genoa to face Italy.
“It will be a difficult race. For now we need to regroup, watch the footage on Monday and recover well, ”said Willemse of the Stormers.
“In world rugby now, it’s really tight. Any team can beat any team. We will prepare as best we can for next week’s tests. “
Looking back on the Marseille game, Willemse said it was “fantastic” to see the sell-out at the Velodrome on Saturday before next year’s Rugby World Cup.
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World Cup 2023
The current holders of the 2019 Webb Ellis trophy will play two group games, against Scotland and Tonga, at the Stade Velodrome in less than 10 months.
Before the defeat of France they spent the week in the city of Toulon, 70km along the Mediterranean coast, where they will be based during the tournament.
“It’s a great stadium, it was great to play in front of the French crowd,” said Willemse.
“It was great to get some experience under the belt. We really liked it”.
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