Springbok hooker Hanyani Shimange hopes to kick-start his international career against the World XV on Saturday.
Shimmie has won just eight Test caps over the last two years and is yet to start a match. Finally, after 25 Tests in John Smit’s shadow, the Western Province hooker will wear a green and gold No 2 jersey – even if it’s not for an official Test.
“I see this as a fresh start,” said Shimange on Boots & All. “This is what I have been training for. I’m not worried about my lack of game time [over the past two seasons] – if I worry about that it will have a detrimental effect on my game.”
Shimange forms part of a new-look Bok front row that includes Deon Carstens at loosehead and Eddie Andrews at tighthead.
“I played with Deon for the SA U23 side,” said Shimmie. “He played at tighthead and I played loosehead, so we know each other quite well.”
Carstens said he was looking forward to his first match for the Springboks since the nightmare tour of 2002 that included record defeats to France, Scotland and England.
“I’m enjoying it at loosehead,” he said. “It’s a different kind of game. You can play around a bit more, while at tighthead you really have to do the hard work. Not that I’m lazy, of course!”