Assistant coach Deon Davids says the Springboks will enter their final match of the year against England at Twickenham with the goal of ending the season as the world’s No 1-ranked Test team.
South Africa climbed back into first place on the world rankings last week, beating Scotland 30-15 to relegate New Zealand to second place after the All Blacks lost in Dublin.
The Boks kicked off their three-match itinerary with a 23-18 win against Wales in Cardiff and a victory at Twickenham on Saturday will see South Africa complete an unbeaten end-of-year tour for the first time since 2013.
This week marks the first clash between the sides that contested the 2019 Rugby World Cup final since the showpiece event in Japan, during which the Boks comprehensively outmuscled and outplayed England. But Davids says the Boks expect a much tighter tussle with Eddie Jones’ men, who are coming off back-to-back wins against Tonga and Australia.
“England are a quality side and they have a good coach in Eddie Jones,” said Davids, who reported a clean bill of health within the squad. “It’s going to be a challenging game and, as a team, we’d like to build on the lessons learned in the Tests against Wales and Scotland.
“We know we have to be focused and task-orientated this week, and we will place a big emphasis on our structures and systems.
“England will present unique challenges in different areas of the game, but we know where we need to improve, and we’d like to build on the momentum we achieved in the last two games.”
Davids added: “It’s always special to play against England at Twickenham and we are in a position in which we can carry some momentum into the final Test on tour and hopefully finish the year on a high note.
“It would certainly be a great reward for the players to finish off such a challenging season with a victory against England.”