Cape Town - New Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus faces a daunting first year at the helm of the national side after their end of year fixtures were confirmed.
READ: All Blacks head for Loftus in 2018
Erasmus, who took over from Allister Coetzee earlier in the year, will begin his maiden season in charge against Wales in Washington DC on June 2, following which Eddie Jones' No-2 ranked England side arrive in the country for a three-Test tour on June 9 (Johannesburg), June 16 (Bloemfontein) and June 23 (Cape Town).
That will be followed by the Rugby Championship, starting on August 18, where the Boks will play two Tests against the No-1 ranked All Blacks, the fourth-ranked Wallabies and ninth-best Argentina - the lowest ranked side the Boks will play this year based on current rankings.
The Springboks will conclude their season with a tricky looking year-end tour to Europe.
With no Test this time around against 'easy-beats', the Italians - apart from in 2016 - the Boks will play England (for the fourth time in the year) at Twickenham on November 3, followed by Tests against eighth-ranked France (November 10), fifth-ranked Scotland (November 17) and seventh-best Wales (November 24).
Erasmus’ Boks are currently ranked sixth on the official World Rugby rankings.
That amounts to 14 Tests in 2018 for Erasmus in his maiden year.
It's worth remembering that Coetzee won 4 of 12 Tests in his first 12-month spell.