DURBAN – Former Sharks coach John Plumtree says it has been encouraging to see the Springboks playing a more adventurous brand of rugby under the guidance of coach Rassie Erasmus.
The Springboks kicked off the Erasmus era with a 2-1 series win over England in June, but are now set to face an even closer examination during the upcoming Rugby Championship.
Plumtree, who is set to become the Hurricanes' head coach, said it would be especially important for the Boks to establish self-belief in winning away from home.
“It's one thing to beat an England team at the end of their season and another to play the All Blacks in New Zealand and the Wallabies in Australia,” he told SARugbymag.co.za.
“Mental preparation will be important for the Boks, as they will need to believe they can win away from home.”
The Springboks are set to kick off their Rugby Championship campaign with a clash against Argentina in Durban this Saturday, before then facing Argentina, Australia and New Zealand away from home.
The Boks have been boosted by the return of fit-again forwards such as Malcolm Marx, Eben Etzebeth and Warren Whiteley, with Erasmus reiterating this week that the team was blessed with an abundance of options among their forwards.
Plumtree said the Boks' confrontational and innovative approach against England had certainly provided cause for encouragement.
“The physicality of the Bok forwards was too much for the tourists and the momentum they created helped Handre Pollard and the backs.
“The Boks are playing with higher risk under Rassie Erasmus, which leads to higher reward. He clearly encourages his players to be inventive and have a go, while doing the basics well.”
African News Agency (ANA)