Lukhanyo Am says the Springboks are not placing too much emphasis on winning the Rugby Championship ahead of the clash with Argentina in Salta on Saturday.
The Boks currently top the Rugby Championship standings with one point ahead of the All Blacks, who meet the Wallabies earlier on Saturday in Perth.
Should the Springboks beat Argentina with a bonus point, they will be able to claim their first piece of silverware since 2009, regardless of what happens between New Zealand and Australia.
Speaking to the media in Argentina, Bok centre Am was keen to downplay the importance of winning the trophy.
‘Playing away in Argentina is always a tough game. From our side, we have prepared based on what we have seen in the previous two Tests,’ Am said. ‘So,we are looking forward to it.
‘It is a great opportunity for us to win the Championship. But we do not want to look too much into it. It is another Test that we are looking to build on. The big picture is the World Cup. There is pressure in every Test that we play. Going into this game, we know there is a chance of winning the Championship. But if there is pressure, it is only good pressure.
‘The Argentinian side is quite a physical side,’ Am added. ‘They are a team that keeps possession quite a lot. They link up well between their forwards and backs. It will be an exciting game for us to encounter in terms of playing against Argentina at their home ground.’
Assistant coach Mzwandile Stick added that the Boks are expecting a typically fired-up and physical Los Pumas team, despite winning two of the three games they have played in Salta.
‘It is going to be a tough game. I know very well, having been to Salta before and we lost [in 2016]. They are a very,very good side. If you look at the balance in their team, they have got a good balance. Their backs complement their forwards in the way they play.
‘They are physical in the midfield. If you look at [centre, Jeronimo] De La Fuente, he is one of the best and has been playing very well. Having an experienced guy like [flyhalf Nicolas] Sanchez in the side, he controls the game well. It is really going to be tough, especially as their forwards are very physical.
‘Playing in Argentina is another challenge. We know they are passionate about what they do and representing their country. We know the emotions behind the team playing at home.’
The Springboks will name their side at 7:30pm on Wednesday.
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