Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has warned his side against complacency heading into the Rugby Championship.
Preparations for this year's Rugby Championship are well and truly underway, with the Springboks getting their first training session under their belt in Joburg on Monday. With only Schalk Brits yet to arrive, the other 29 players in Meyer's squad were put through their paces as the medical staff assessed those members who are carrying injury concerns.
Argentina have been preparing for the opening fixture for a number of months now, opting to rest their senior internationals for the June Tests to focus instead on the Rugby Championship. Meyer knows that they will prove a difficult proposition and he was at pains to stress that the Springboks will not underestimate their opponents.
'The biggest mistake we can make at the moment is to look past the two games against Argentina and towards New Zealand and Australia,' said Meyer. 'I believe Argentina, under new coach Daniel Hourcade, will yet again be a difficult opponent, but we’re not focused on them at this stage.
'The management have worked very hard getting their planning in place for the competition. The most important thing this week for us as players will be to get into game mode as quickly as possible.
'There simply isn’t time to ease into things – the competition starts in less than two weeks in Pretoria and we’ve got to be ready. The Argentineans arrive here on Wednesday and they’ve been preparing for a while now. We have to be at our very best next Saturday.'
The Springboks got last year's campaign off to a great start, running in nine tries on their way to a dazzling 73-13 victory over Los Pumas. Jean de Villiers was one of the try-scorers that night, and the Bok captain is looking for much of the same this time around. Loftus Versfeld has proved a happy hunting ground for the Boks in recent times, something that De Villiers is well aware of.
'We’ve scored 13 tries in our last two visits to Loftus and it’s something we want to build on,' said the Bok captain. 'We were obviously very happy with our last two performances there, and the support for the Boks is always good in Pretoria, so we’re hoping we can count on more of the same next weekend.
'But the past will count for nothing if we don’t get out of the blocks well at Loftus. We’ve done our planning and are itching to get onto the field and get going.'
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