Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Kurt-Lee Arendse expecting aerial attack, but Boks ready for any French tricks

The Boks will be eager to bounce back from their tight defeat against Ireland when they play France on Saturday.

Springbok wing Kurt-Lee Arendse is preparing for an aerial battle when the Springboks take on France in their end-of-year-tour match at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille on Saturday night.

Arendse has been selected in an exciting back three, featuring Cheslin Kolbe and Willie le Roux, but this will be his first start for the Boks on the left wing.

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Arendse’s shift to the left was to accommodate Kolbe moving back to his preferred position on the right, while Le Roux returned to fullback and Makazole Mapimpi dropped to the bench.

It has been a superb start to his international career for Arendse, with him making three starts so far, against Wales, New Zealand and Ireland, while he also came off the bench against Argentina, and he has run in three tries, including in the past weekend’s game against Ireland.

He will now hope to shine on the left wing against France, having made all his previous starts on the right, and he is keenly aware of what to expect from the hosts.

“We have been preparing well for France. We know they are going to kick a lot. We have been focusing on receiving plenty of kicks,” explained Arendse.

“Willie and Cheslin, with their experience, have been helping me so much. We are prepared so we must just take it to France.

“We will (be able to) handle it. We also have a good kicking game plan. Things might change on the day, but we must be up for whatever France decides to bring. We have to be ready to adapt and handle it.”

Bounce back

The Boks will be eager to bounce back from their tight defeat against Ireland in the game, while France head into the match off a very tight one point win over Australia.

The Australians showed in the match how they were able to get through the French defence with some scintillating broken play, and that has not been lost on the Boks who will be eager to exploit that weakness.

“We know that they don’t want to tire their forwards. “So we will try to look for the running option and try to exploit them on the outside,” admitted Arendse.

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