Former Springboks coach Nick Mallett has called on the All Blacks to show they have ‘cojones’ by playing the reigning world champions on South African soil.
South Africa and New Zealand have not played since the 2019 Rugby World Cup due to Covid-related reasons, and their two scheduled tests this year are also in doubt for similar reasons.
The All Blacks were due to host both games against the Springboks this year in New Zealand, but they have been cancelled due to a Covid outbreak in the country, with replacement venues yet to be found.
Mallett was speaking on SuperSport after the Springboks’ win against Los Pumas and he called on the All Blacks to come to South Africa for the 100th test match between the two.
Nick Mallett attempts to goad the All Blacks.
“So let’s get New Zealand over here, they’re the best at running the ball. We’re the best at tackling people who run the ball and turning them over,” Mallett said, via SA Rugby Mag.
“We’ve got a far better set-piece than them, we’ve got a better maul than them, we’ve got a better kicking game than them. It’s a clash of two different styles of play.
“I really hope we have the Rugby Championship in South Africa starting on the 11th of September. We need to play New Zealand and Australia.
“I can’t use the word on TV, but the All Blacks need to show the ‘strength of personality’ to come over here and play the 100th test in South Africa. ‘Cojones’ – that’s the word in Argentina!”
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) August 22, 2021
The Springboks and All Blacks are the frontrunners in Rugby Championship.
Just three games in this year’s Rugby Championship have been played, but one of South Africa and New Zealander already look very likely to win the southern hemisphere’s premier international rugby tournament.
New Zealand hammered Australia in their opening game in Auckland, while South Africa made it two wins from two against Argentina on Saturday.
The All Blacks won last year’s Tri Nations in the Springboks’ absence last year, but the South Africans were crowned as champions the year before that, before they went on to win the Rugby World Cup.
South Africa and New Zealand are the top two ranked sides in the world, but there are few similarities between them in terms of how they play the game.
The two are current scheduled to play each other on September 25 and October 2, but that may be changed following Covid-related disruptions to the tournament.