‘Big step up required’

Heyneke Meyer says the Boks will have to ‘hit the ground running’ after arriving in Brisbane late on Monday, Australian time.

The Boks travelled in two groups to the capital city of Queensland, where they will face the Wallabies in the opening round of a condensed Rugby Championship on Saturday.

The squad of 31 players and five management members flew from Johannesburg via Sydney, while the rest of the management travelled via Perth to Brisbane.

The Springbok medical team will have to make sure every member of the travelling squad is ready to go before the first training session on Tuesday.

‘We’ve usually travelled to Australia on a bye weekend, giving us one extra day to prepare, but we don’t have it this year and we’ll have to make sure we hit the ground running on Tuesday,’ the Bok coach commented.

‘We worked on a couple of new things since we got together and the match against the World XV was a good barometer to see where we stand. The challenge this week would be to improve on certain aspects of the game and to fine tune others.

‘We need to make a big step up against the Wallabies. It will be a very high-tempo game and proper Test match rugby against one of the top sides in the world.’

Meyer will name his team to play at the Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday. It’s a venue that has not been kind to the Springboks in recent years, although the visitors secured a brilliant 38-12 victory over the Wallabies in Brisbane in 2013.

‘Before that match, the Springboks had never beaten Australia at Suncorp Stadium and although the match was played two years ago, we’d like to build on that performance,’ said Meyer.

Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

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Craig Lewis