Faf de Klerk says the Springboks are expecting a high-paced battle that will test their defensive resolve when they face the Wallabies this Sunday.
The two teams will meet for the first time since 2019 when they take the field at the CBUS Super Stadium, and while pundits may tip the Boks as favourites, De Klerk says it would be remiss to underestimate the Wallabies despite coming off a disappointing run of results against All Blacks.
“We are under no illusions about what a great team the Wallabies are,” said De Klerk who will earn his 33rd Test cap in the encounter.
“Having watched their games and how close they have come to winning some of them, I think if a few things had gone their way and a few passes stuck there could have been different results.”
De Klerk added: “From my personal experience of playing in Australia, it is incredibly tough and it’s always a massive physical challenge. Adding to that, the way they play these days where they almost try to run you off your feet is going to test us defensively, so it will be a tough game.
“They are a bunch of proud guys from a proud country, so I think they’ll come out with everything they have.
“We know we are going to get the best out of them, and we know that if we don’t bring our best, we’ll probably get a hiding in this game.
“We’ve spoken about it a lot this week, and the guys are ready for what lies ahead. We know it won’t be easy.”
De Klerk spoke highly of Wallabies scrumhalf Tate McDermott and said he was wary of the challenge he would pose as the team attempts to turn the corner in their season.
“McDermott is an exciting young player, who is really threatening around the rucks and he is a good player to watch,” said De Klerk.
“That’s the kind of guy Australia wants now – someone who poses a threat. Nic White backing him up also presents a massive challenge for us on defence.”
With De Klerk back in action after recovering from the leg injury that sidelined him since the second Test against the British & Irish Lions, the nuggety scrumhalf was delighted to receive the opportunity to contribute on the field once again and said there were a few key areas he would target going into the match.
“What I’d like to bring to the field is the game management side of things, so deciding when to have a go and when to take them on in the air, as well as when to speed up the game, so that is the control I need to bring,” said De Klerk.
“I also want to bring my basics such as feeding [the ball] and passing, giving the team great front-foot ball, and ensuring that we go forward, and if I can score a try, that’s always nice.”
The match kicks off at 8.05pm (12.05pm SA time) and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.