Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus believes they are in with a shot at beating England in June.
Erasmus was on Thursday confirmed as the new coach of the Springboks.
His first assignment will be a Test against Wales in Washington DC on June 2, which will be followed by a three-Test home series against England starting the next week.
In his first press-conference as national coach, Erasmus addressed reporters in the SuperSport studios in Randburg on Thursday.
When probed on what his expectations for the England series were, the Bok mentor said he was confident that they could topple Eddie Jones' men, especially after this past weekend’s Six Nations result when the Red Roses lost 25-13 to Scotland in Edinburgh.
“Just a series win would be sufficient at this stage. They’re definitely beatable,” Erasmus said.
“They’re a formidable outfit and Eddie’s getting them to play really well, but Scotland showed us (what can be done). I coached against that Scotland team for Munster - they have about 17 or 18 Glasgow players in there. They’re a really good outfit and they’ve got continuity with Gregor Townsend, so I think that helps a bit. But I think we’re in with a good shout in June.”
For his first match against Wales, Erasmus hinted that he could look at overseas-based players.
“We will have to test some players that we might use next year somewhere. I still have to go through (SA Rugby) leadership to make sure we follow the necessary protocol but that will be one of the requests, to see where we can test some players.
“It will be foolish to think that one squad of 23 or 26 can go and play there (in Washington DC), fly back (to South Africa) and remain competitive against England. So it might be a bit of a combination, it might be two squads, it might be some of the reserves playing in both squads.”