Perth – The Springboks arrived in Perth on Sunday hoping to get back to their best in the Rugby Championship clash against the Wallabies next weekend.
Coach Heyneke Meyer and his team emerged from a nine-hour flight from Johannesburg to warm, sunny conditions in the Western Australian city earlier today.
But the action is sure to heat up even further on the field when the Boks take on the Wallabies at the Patersons Stadium next Saturday (12.05pm kickoff SA time).
Meyer’s side are under pressure after producing below-par performances in their back-to-back victories over Argentina over the last two weeks in Pretoria and Salta. The weather conditions played a major role in both matches, with heavy rain and even hail affecting the match at Loftus Versfeld, which South Africa won 13-6.
Then the return match in Argentina, in Salta, was played in very hot conditions, with the Boks just holding on for a 33-31 victory.
Meyer knows that his team will have to improve drastically if they hope to topple the Wallabies and then the high-riding All Blacks the following week in Wellington.
The Boks are without blindside flanks Willem Alberts (hamstring and back injuries) and Juan Smith (fitness concerns), as well as tighthead prop Frans Malherbe (ankle), but Lions captain Warren Whiteley and Bulls prop Marcel van der Merwe were called up last week as replacements.
The team trained in Johannesburg for three days before their departure for Perth on Saturday night, showing how much importance they are attaching to their preparation for the Wallaby Test.
“It’s always tough to play away from home, but we also see it as a challenge,” Meyer said today in Perth.
“It’s great to be here, and all the players and management are excited to get down to business when we hit the training field on Monday.”