- Springbok centre Damian de Allende has enjoyed a remarkable rise to prominence
- De Allende never earned a provincial or national age-group cap, but made a name for himself for UCT in the Varsity Cup
- The powerful back went from being on the fringes in 2015 to being a mainstay today
The Springboks have been impressive at the 2019 World Cup thus far and much of the acclaim has to go to Damian de Allende.
The big centre combines his physicality and strength with a terrific set of skills.
Weighing in at 101kg and nearly 1.9m in height, de Allende is an imposing figure in the Bok back-line.
However, Briefly.co.za understands that his success at national level was never a formality.
Despite his speed and size, de Allende was never selected at provincial or national age-group level, but made a name for himself for the University of Cape Town at the Varsity Cup.
Within three years, he earned his first Springbok cap in 2014.
Although he wasn't a guaranteed starter heading into the 2015 Rugby World Cup, his strong performances made it impossible to leave him out and he eventually starred at the tournament.
IOL reported that de Allende's brief is to power his way over the gain line, but he also has the right to express himself in the right situation.
De Allende said, “You want to take a few risks now and then, if you really have to. If the opportunity is there and you feel like you can do it, then do it."
It is this balanced approach that has contributed to de Allende being one of the first names on coach Rassie Erasmus' team sheet.
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