OPPORTUNIST: Newbie Faf de Klerk. CREDIT: Sourced
He might only be 1.73m tall, but on Saturday at Newlands Faf de Klerk will be standing tall.

The Lions scrumhalf is the only player in the Springbok run-on XV that will make his debut against Ireland tomorrow.

Hooker Bongi Mbonambi is the only other player in the match 23 that has also not yet had a taste of international rugby, but he will play off the bench.

Of the opportunity afforded to him by coach Allister Coetzee, a former scrumhalf himself, De Klerk says: “Not a lot of guys get their first game as a start.

“I’m going to try and make good decisions on the field and show that I earned it [the call-up].

“It’s always been a dream [to represent the Springboks] and I always thought that if you work hard and play hard then hopefully you will get this chance, but it came probably a bit quicker than I thought.

“If you get your opportunity, you have to use it.”

De Klerk has become famous at the Lions as a opportunistic player that doesn’t hesitate to take on the opposition. And he says that won’t change now that he is wearing the national colours.

He explains: “I think in every match there are opportunities to [test the opposition with quick taps and runs].

“It might not be this match, we will have to see how the Irish react. I know on that side of the world, they are used to a slower game, so we’ll try and catch them with some quick stuff and see how they react.”