Fabulous Fassi unleashed as the Springboks get off to a flying start

South Africa 40-9 Georgia: Fabulous Fassi unleashed as the debutant winger stars in comfortable victory in their first match back in 608 DAYS ahead of the Lions Test series

  • South Africa’s new head coach Jacques Nienaber gave Fassi his debut on Friday 
  • It was their first match since beating England in the World Cup final back in 2019
  • The 23-year-old Fassi did not take long to demonstrate his international calibre 

South Africa unleashed a new threat to the Lions on Friday night as Aphelele Fassi’s Test debut helped the world champions break Georgia’s resistance in Pretoria.

This was the first time the Springboks had played since dismantling England in the 2019 World Cup final in Yokohama and captain Siya Kolisi was among several members of that feted side on duty at an empty Loftus Versfeld. 

But 608 days on, the belated start of a new era was marked by the emergence of a dazzling rookie.

Debutant Aphelele Fassi (right) impressed on debut for South Africa against Georgia on Friday

The quick back did not take long to make a mark on the game, scoring a try in the fifth minute

The 23-year-old star then put a deft kick infield to allow scrum-half Cobus Reinach to score

Fassi was named to start by the Boks’ new head coach, Jacques Nienaber, on the strength of his form for the Durban-based Sharks. The 23-year-old didn’t take long to prove his international calibre, with a wonderful fifth-minute try. 

He seized a pass from Pieter-Steph du Toit wide on the left, stormed past two defenders in limited space and finished well in the corner. 

Just before half-time, Fassi produced another eye-catching contribution. 

New Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber (above) will be pleased with the 40-9 victory

He deftly held a pass from Jesse Kriel and swiftly kicked in-field, allowing Cobus Reinach to gather and race clear to score. Fassi also fared well under the high ball and in defence.

The Boks ended up with six tries and will be better for a physical encounter. On this evidence, they will be ready for the Lions.

Captain Kolisi said: ‘We started slow, but as soon as we found our mojo, everything started coming together. It was far from perfect but we will definitely get better.’

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