Edinburgh - Scotland coach Gregor Townsend says they expect a physical onslaught from the Springboks in Saturday’s Test at Murrayfield.
READ: Strong SA flavour in Scotland team named to face Boks
“Their traditional strength has always been their physicality and this remains a key point of difference for them. We expect them to be confrontational and powerful in their ball carrying, their defence and also at set-piece time. It will be a great challenge for our forward pack in particular,” Townsend told Scottish Rugby’s official website after naming his team on Wednesday.
The Scotland mentor added that he also noticed a different dimension to South Africa's game in recent months.
“South Africa have always had a smart kicking game with an excellent chase but what we’ve seen over the past few months is an ambition to move the ball from counter attack and a push to get their forwards passing the ball more.
“Our defence will have to be strong to nullify this ambitious attacking game plan. We’re looking forward to playing one of the best teams in the world and playing once more in front of a sell-out crowd at Murrayfield,” the former Scotland flyhalf said.
Townsend also noted the Springboks’ efforts against world champions New Zealand in the Rugby Championship.
The Boks beat the All Blacks 36-34 in Wellington before narrowly losing 32-30 in Pretoria.
“South Africa have made a lot of improvements over the last three or four months, beating the All Blacks in New Zealand and putting in an 80-minute performance to defeat France in Paris, which underlines their quality.”
Saturday’s Test is scheduled for 19:20 (SA time).
Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Pete Horne, 11 Sean
Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Ryan Wilson, 7
Hamish Watson, 6 Sam Skinner 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 WP Nel,
2 Stuart McInally, 1 Gordon Reid
Substitutes: 16 Fraser Brown, 17
Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Josh Strauss, 20 Jamie Ritchie, 21 Ali
Price, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Chris Harris.