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Springboks out to do it for Etzebeth, Mbonambi and the nation in decider against Wales

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick ahead of the third and final Test against Wales at Cape Town Stadium.
Springboks captain Siya Kolisi and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick ahead of the third and final Test against Wales at Cape Town Stadium.
Image: SHAUN ROY/ BACKPAGEPIX

Besides the obvious objective of winning the Test series 2-1, the Springboks have the added motivation of doing it for stalwarts Eben Etzebeth and Bongi Mbonambi against Wales at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

The Boks and the Welsh Dragons go into this decider with the series sitting delicately on 1-1 and the hosts are further burdened by pressure of not spoiling the significant milestones of Etzebeth and Mbonambi.

When Etzebeth crosses the white line in front of a raucous Cape Town Stadium, Etzebeth will become the seventh and youngest Springbok in history to earn 100 Test caps.

Mbonambi will earn his 50th cap and captain Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and assistant coach Mzwandile Stick said victory is important to win the series for their teammates and the nation.

“Not many people have put on this jersey that many times, we are obviously happy for them,” said Kolisi, adding that a win will help to put smiles on the faces of South Africans during these difficult times in the country.

“I am honoured to be playing in the same team with those guys who have worn this jersey with pride over and over again. He (Eben) is only the seventh and youngest guy to put it on 100 times and not once has he dropped the team. He has always given everything to the team.

“Bongi is Bongi, he wears his heart on his sleeve at all times and we want to do it for them but, most importantly, for the people of SA. It is difficult in our county at the moment with everything that is going on but people are still buying tickets and coming to support us. There is all of that and it will be amazing to make to special for them.”

Of Etzebeth and Mbonambi’s career milestones, Kolisi said it would serve as one of the motivational factors for the team.

“The game itself is already motivation for us as a team. This is a special occasion for Eben and his family. It is special to achieve what he has and to be the youngest player to achieve it makes it even more remarkable. So we are happy for him, and for Bongi.

“We want to win this match for them, but more importantly for the Springboks and the people of SA. It would be amazing if we could make them and the country happy.”


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