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England’s Rodd relished South Africa test 

England’s Rodd relished South Africa test 

To some, the prospect of facing off against South Africa’s impressive front row is a daunting challenge – but not for England’s Bevan Rodd.

In what was only his second international game, the 21-year-old went toe to toe with the world champions and the hallowed ‘Bomb Squad’, helping England to an impressive last-gasp 27-26 win over South Africa.

And the Sale Sharks prop admitted the prospect of facing off against the best in the world at Twickenham got him excited.

Smith v SA

“I was excited for it, I play with a lot of them at Sale so I kind of know what they’re like” said Rodd.

“I was really looking forward to it from the time that Eddie said I might be playing in it.

“Physicality and a lot of kicking, they’re probably the best in the world at the moment so you know what’s coming but it’s hard to stop.”

England fronted up to the challenge South Africa brought in the second half, going blow for blow with the defending world champions after heading into the break 17-12 up.

On 73 minutes, Frans Steyn put the Boks up 26-24 but England hit back with seconds left on the clock through a late Marcus Smith penalty, securing Rodd and company a famous win in front of a raucous Twickenham.

And Rodd revealed that fronting up to their opponent’s physicality played a key part in helping England battle their way past South Africa.

“Stopping physicality is quite easy, you’ve just got to match it as well,” explained Rodd.

“Whereas, it’s just about yourself, whether you want to stop it or not.

“It’s not a team tactic, it’s whether you just want to stop someone on the line or not.

“Not playing to the strengths as well, just with physicality as a whole team, I thought we did really well.”

The dramatic win was something of a signature victory for Eddie Jones’ new look England.

The future looks bright for his side, which featured a host of new face among its ranks for the first time, something which Rodd believes will usher in an exciting era for English rugby.

“The team did get rotated as much for the last three or four years but it’s exciting having new guys in and being one of them,” added Rodd.

“It’s an exciting era. Eddie [Jones] said we’ve got four more campaigns until the World Cup, so we’ll be looking to win them all hopefully.”

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England’s Rodd relished South Africa test 

23rd Nov 2021