Christchurch - The Springboks are excited to resume their rugby rivalry with New Zealand when the two teams meet in the fourth round of the Rugby Championship at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch on Saturday (kick-off 09:35 SA time).
Springbok coach Allister Coetzee and flank Francois Louw, who will earn his 50th Test cap for South Africa on Saturday, addressed the media earlier on Thursday at their team hotel in Christchurch.
Looking forward to the big clash this weekend, Coetzee said: “This is definitely a great opportunity for us and whenever South Africa have played New Zealand in the past, it’s always been a big battle.
“We are looking forward to it because tradition and history tell you that it is going to be a physical battle and skill sets will be tested. We're playing against the world’s No 1 team and it’s going to be a great test of where we are as a team and how much progress we have made up until now.
“We’ve come close on numerous occasions against New Zealand, where we lost matches by just falling short of the line or missing a lineout ball in the last minute of the game. You cannot afford those soft moments against a quality side such as the All Blacks.”
The Springboks had another good training session on Thursday at their base, the Peppers Clearwater Resort, and they will wrap up preparations on Friday with the captain’s run at the stadium.
15 Ben Smith 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Ryan Crotty, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read (captain), 7 Ardie Savea, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Samuel Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Dane Coles, 1 Joe Moody
Substitutes: 16 James Parsons, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Matt Todd, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown
15 Johan Goosen, 14 Bryan Habana, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Francois Hougaard, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Jaco Kriel, 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Damian de Allende