It’s in the centre, Mr Venter…

There’s some mouth-watering international rugby on the cards this weekend with 3 big North vs South clashes…and if I’m gonna take this Civil War analogy to the next level (which I am) I reckon the exciting match-ups are going to be in the rear guard cavalry department – in other words in the centre Mr Venter (to nick the catch-phrase from an old SA tv ad from yesteryear)!

Here are the head-to-heads I’m looking forward to the most:

Game: Ireland v NZ

Match-up: Brian O’Driscoll v Sonny-Bill Williams

Who’s gonna come up trumps?

The old war-horse back to captain the side from his R&R in the stables versus the young ‘everbody likes to say his name’ filly who’s normally used as an impact player. It’s a tough one to call but I’m gonna go with experience over physical perfection on this one – as I reckon the old dog still has a few tricks up his sleeve!

Brian O'Driscoll

“Worried…who’s worried?!”

Game: Wales v Australia

Match-up: Sam Warburton v David Pocock

Who’s gonna come up trumps?

Who doesn’t like a good old battle of the generals (remember Robert E. Lee vs Ulysses S. Grant?!), especially between two teams with the recent history that these two have. I’m gonna go with Pocock on this, somewhat based on form but mostly because I don’t want to seem biased towards the Northern Hemisphere.

The Wallaby captain takes his defence seriously…maybe a bit too seriously.

Game: South Africa v England

Match-up: Jean De Villiers v Manu Tuilagi

Who’s gonna come up trumps?

The Springbok captain will want to do the new coach proud, so he’ll be adding a few extra highlights to his hair and more importantly he’ll be all over Tuilagi like stink on sh*t. Assuming Tuilagi doesn’t jump ship and get sent-off for silly tackles, he may give the Springbok backs a run for their money – but I still reckon De Villiers will nail him.

De Villiers gratefully accepts another hospital pass from Steyn.