Johannesburg – The Springboks expect to be underestimated by the hosts on their tour of Australasia, according to head coach Heyneke Meyer.
After winning their first match against newcomers Argentina at home, the Boks took a major knock in their four-nations Rugby Championship campaign, playing to a 16-16 draw against the Pumas in Mendoza last week.
“We trained really well this week but I think they won't be giving us a chance overseas,” Meyer said before the squad left for Australia on Saturday.
“It is always good for the Springboks to be labelled 'underdogs' but I would like to see where we stand by the end of this tour.”
South Africa face Australia in Perth next week and New Zealand in Dunedin the week after, and Meyer said they were realistic about their chances against their fellow Southern Hemisphere powerhouses.
“I think it goes without saying that it will be a tough tour,” he said.
“We'll be playing against the best in the world and we'll know exactly where we stand.
“I'm very realistic and I know it will be difficult.”
Australia, their first opponents on tour, went down in both their matches against New Zealand, but Meyer believed the Wallabies would hit back hard with a point to prove against the Boks.
“Our record is not that great against Australia and we have quite a few inexperienced players, especially in the loose-forwards,” he said.
“We can't take anything away from them. They are a great team.
“Australia will want to come back with everything they have after losing to New Zealand but I am really looking forward to the tour and the Tests.”
Meyer, who took over from former Bok coach Peter de Villiers this season, said players would need to start showcasing their abilities as he began to build a squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
“We have an inexperienced pack so it will be a good test for everyone and that's the only way they will learn,” he said.
“If they come through after these games, I'll know exactly which players are capable of going through to the next World Cup.” – Sapa