‘Boks will never lose aura’

Allister Coetzee believes the Springboks will never lose their aura or their standing in world rugby.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Coetzee insisted the Boks will always be force to be reckoned with despite their recent decline.

'The Springbok will never lose its aura, definitely not,' said Coetzee. 'It might lose a couple of Test matches, but if you look at where Wales are today and they have lost 11 successive Tests against Australia. They never lost their aura. Even if you look at England for where they have been and where they are now. We have had a challenging Rugby Championship and learned though lessons.'

The under-pressure Coetzee also confirmed that while he wishes to play a more expansive brand of rugby, he will not deviate from South Africa's traditional set-piece strengths.

'We'd like to see a balance between physicality and smart rugby. Hopefully we can get that right over the next four weeks as one of our missions on this tour is to score tries,' confirmed Coetzee.

'But I do not want to move away from the strengths of South Africa. We are good at mauling and putting teams under pressure with our maul. The laws have favoured the defensive side, but we have had a look at that. If you lookat England, that is a very effective part of their game, and that's what we'd like to get back as well,' Coetzee added.

The Bok coach also hailed Eddie Jones's influence on the resurgent England team after their poor World Cup campaign.

'Eddie is an astute coach. I had the opportunity to work with him. He is hard-working. He has assembled a physical pack and got the bite back in the England team.

'He has surrounded himself with great coaches. I know Neal Hatley well and he is a good scrumming coach.Then the defence is very sound. That's how they beat Australia in June, with a sound kicking game, great line speed and a good set piece.

'They do play a better balanced game and feed off turnovers and do it well. They are on a roll at the moment.'

Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images

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