South African MMA fighter Drichus du Plessis will carry the flag ahead of the Springboks v All Blacks match at Ellis Park.

Du Plessis has made South Africa proud in the UFC, returning to a 3-0 record in the biggest MMA promotion in the world.

The Springboks may want to channel the resilience of Du Plessis, whose last UFC fight was a bloody war of attrition.

Drichus du Plessis will carry the Springboks flag

Springbok captain Siya Kalisi is expecting a tough backlash after they were beaten 26-10 by their rivals in Mbombela last week.

“We watched the game last week, but we can’t dwell on this result for too long,” Kolisi said.

“New Zealand are a very good team and they are one run away from turning things around.

“For our part, we had a good overview of the game last week and we think we can improve a lot.”

A dangerous person

Assistant coach Mzwandile Stick shared that sentiment and called Richie Mo’unga a game-changer for the Kiwis.

The All Blacks are approaching Saturday’s Bledisle Cup match against Australia at Eden Park with “final” intensity as they look to secure the trophy with what is likely to be five months on the road. Photo: AFP

“The All Blacks are a world class team and with Richie Munga in defense they will be even more dangerous. He can mix his game with kicking and running, so he will bring something different to the team.

“We know for sure that we cannot stop against them for a minute because they have world class players who can punish you. It will be a huge challenge and we have to be on our toes to beat them.

“This is the first time in my life as a Bok team that we will be playing Tests against the All Blacks at home and we know it will be a huge challenge but we will do our best. We have a big tour ahead of us, but we don’t want to look too far ahead.

“Emirates Airline Park is a great venue for both teams. I will certainly never forget the 1995 Rugby World Cup final featuring Nelson Mandela and Joel Stransky’s drop goal.

“The big factor for us, though, is to keep building and hopefully we can do that and the scoreboard will take care of itself.”

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