Springboks

Boks ready for England: Jean

2012-06-08 14:44
Jean de Villiers (Gallo)

Durban - New Springbok captain Jean de Villiers says the national side have had a fantastic week despite their limited preparation time, insisting they were ready for the first Test of their new era against England in Durban on Saturday.

South Africa have a new coach in position for the three-match series with Heyneke Meyer having taken over from Peter de Villiers.

The match is also the first since last year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, after which stalwarts such as John Smit and Victor Matfield stepped down.

A lot has been made about the short preparation time in the build-up to the game. The squad gathered for the first time on Sunday with most involved in taxing Super Rugby derbies less than 24 hours earlier.

"The mood is good in the camp," De Villiers said on Friday.

"I really think we had a fantastic week preparation-wise.

"We only had three days, but I think the camps that Heyneke had during the year really worked and we’re reaping the rewards now."

Meyer included three uncapped players in his starting team earlier this week, with flanker Marcell Coetzee and locks Juandre Kruger and Eben Etzebeth set to earn their first caps.

The two-time world champions also have another potential debutant in Coenie Oosthuizen who starts on the bench.

De Villiers, who will play his 73rd international for South Africa, will lead a team that has 458 caps in total.

The Springboks will also be bidding for an eighth successive win over the English, who last won on SA soil in 2000.

De Villiers admitted there would be pressure in representing the country.

"We’re not focussing on the result too much, but more on what we need to do as a team," said the skipper.

"It’s been quite a hectic week for me personally. It’s a job that comes with a lot more responsibility.

"It’s a massive challenge for us tomorrow [Saturday] and there’ll be a lot of new stuff, but I think once we pass that first hurdle, hopefully it can just get better and better.

"If we perform well, I’m sure we can get a good result."

England are in a similar position as the South Africans.

Their coach Stuart Lancaster takes charge of his first Test since taking the job on a full-time basis following a fairly successful Six Nations series, ending second behind Wales with four wins and one loss.

The Roses also have new faces in their ranks, with two debutants named in the starting XV - prop Joe Marler and flank Tom Johnson.

Lancaster admitted the series would be difficult as South Africa was one of the toughest places to tour.

"If we are serious about becoming one of the best sides in the world, which is ultimately what we are, we need to benchmark ourselves against the best and play against the best," Lancaster said.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
32 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
06 September 2014
New Zealand v Argentina, Napier 09:35
Australia v South Africa, Perth 12:05
13 September 2014
New Zealand v South Africa, Wellington 09:35
Australia v Argentina, old Coast Queensland 12:05
27 September 2014
Argentina v New Zealand, La Plata 00:10
South Africa v Australia, Cape Town 17:05
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

After the first weekend's Rugby Championship action, which team do you see as the strongest title contender?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.