WELLINGTON – Rassie Erasmus said the Springboks will not be carried away by their win over the Wallabies last weekend when they face the All Blacks in Wellington in the second round of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship on Saturday.
The Boks only have two Tests left in the shortened Castle Lager Rugby Championship, and two more internationals against Argentina and Japan, before the start of the Rugby World Cup in September, and Erasmus is looking forward to seeing what his team can do against the defending world champions.
“We have the utmost respect for the All Blacks who are the undisputed number one rugby team in the world,” said Erasmus.
“We know we will have to be at our very best to be competitive against the All Blacks on Saturday and that is why we have sent a group of players in advance to Wellington, so they could acclimatise after the long trip over from South Africa.
“The New Zealanders are a very experienced and settled side while we have some catching up to do in terms of where the two sides are at the moment.
“They are bringing back their Crusaders players, who were all rested after the Vodacom Super Rugby final, so we are in for a huge battle against the best team in the world,” added Erasmus.
Good week of preparations so far for the big #AllBlacks match on Saturday in Wellington.— Springboks (@Springboks) July 24, 2019
Here's some pics from our training sessions at Porirua Park.#StrongerTogether #CastleLager #RugbyChampionship #NZLvRSA pic.twitter.com/QycmMRfIEg
Regarding the decision to hand the leadership duties to Vermeulen, Erasmus said: “It is important that we continue to build on our leadership for this important year, especially while our regular skipper, Siya Kolisi, is out of action because of injury rehabilitation.
“Duane is an experienced captain and we have a strong group of leaders in the team, which includes Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit, who have both captained the Springboks before, as well as several other franchise captains.”
African News Agency (ANA)