WELLINGTON – The Springboks will have another golden opportunity to lay down a World Cup marker when they face the All Blacks in Wellington this Saturday.
The first part of Rassie Erasmus' World Cup preparation plans could not really have gone any better, with a largely second-string side having claimed a bonus-point win over the Wallabies last weekend.
Besides making a big statement with that result, newcomers such as Herschel Jantjies and Lizo Gqoboka impressed on debut, while Cobus Reinach and Frans Steyn enjoyed productive Bok comebacks.
Besides getting a good look at the Boks' wider squad, Erasmus was able to "preserve" some of his first-choice players, who already headed over to New Zealand towards the end of last week to begin preparations for the big Test against the All Blacks.
This weekend could see some of the heavy hitters such as Malcolm Marx, Duane Vermeulen, Faf de Klerk, Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am and Willie le Roux head into action.
Last year, Wellington was the venue for a famous Bok win - their first in New Zealand since 2009 - and they will be desperate to repeat the heroics of that day.
It can't be forgotten that the Springboks are set to face the All Blacks in their World Cup opener in Japan later this year, so there will plenty to play for this with this in mind
"We are preparing for the World Cup and like any other team, we split our resources last week to try and handle the travelling constraints of this year’s Rugby Championship," Bok assistant coach Matt Proudfoot said from New Zealand on Tuesday.
"We are planning to expose some of those players, who haven’t been here, to what it takes to play the world’s best team in New Zealand, and to experience the detail and intensity that are needed for such a game.
“We are just going to continue to do that, build our squad processes for the World Cup due to the fact that our first game is against New Zealand. It is an ideal opportunity to continue the process which we started last week."
African News Agency (ANA)