De Allende also brushed aside suggestions that the Boks had gotten the ‘monkey off their backs’ by defeating Ireland for the first time 2016 last week in Pretoria by earning a 27-20 victory.

“It’s a great achievement for Jesse and myself,” said De Allende.

“I met him (Jesse) in 2014 when he was training with the Boks already, and I’d like to congratulate him for this achievement.

“Jean (de Villiers) and Jaque (Fourie) [who held the previous record of 29 Tests together] were probably the best centres in their time, so it’s great. But personally, we’re not focused on that. We want to go out there and get the job done on the field on Saturday.”

The 80 Test-capped 'Doogz', as he is fondly known among his teammates, spoke highly of Kriel’s contribution to the team: “Jesse is a lot faster than me, but jokes aside, he’s excellent on defence, at reading a game, and making good decisions at tough times. He put the Irish centres under a lot of pressure last week, and this week will be equally challenging for us in the midfield.”

De Allende poured cold water over suggestions that the Boks finally got the ‘monkey off their back’ after defeating Ireland at Loftus Versfeld and said they expected an even bigger onslaught from them this weekend.

“Last week’s game was a proper Test match,” said De Allende. “It was good to be part of the match, and we know how tough they are. We have no doubt they’ll come at us even harder this week, so I don’t think one can say it is a case of us having the monkey off our back.”

De Allende expected another physical battle against Irish centre Bundee Aki (should he be named in the squad in the next few days), and said: “He’s a great guy, family man and a fantastic player. I’ve played against him a lot, and it’s always a great challenge, As a player you want to test yourself against the best in the world.”

The double Rugby World Cup-winning centre was delighted with the Boks’ new attacking structure under the guidance of assistant coach Tony Brown and was highly complementary of the mindset change the former All Black flyhalf has brought.

“I’ve always wanted to pass more, but the most important thing for me has been to do what suits the team,” he said. “In Japan they asked me to pass more, so at this stage, it’s about getting the balance right.

“Tony is very relaxed, and his emphasis is on analysing the space on the field. It’s really been a pleasure working with him.”

Asked what a series victory against Ireland would mean for the Boks with a Test against Portugal lined up next week and then the Castle Lager Rugby Championship and November tour, De Allende said it would be a massive confidence booster for the side.

“Saturday’s match will be extremely important for us going forward because we have a tough season lined up,” he said. “They’ll definitely come out firing, and I think they may try a few new things and possibly play a more expansive game. But we really want to win this one and build good momentum.”

The match kicks off at 17h00 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport