Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster says Rassie Erasmus’ presence will ‘galvanise’ the Springboks ahead of their first Test against England on Saturday.
Lancaster, who coached England when they last visited South Africa in 2012, recalled the Springboks’ physicality in the second Test of that tour at Ellis Park.
‘After about 20 minutes, this wave of green shirts was crashing over us,’ Lancaster told The Guardian. ‘You’re thinking: “Oh my God, this could be 40 or 50”.
‘Relentless power, a very intimidating stadium… I was very proud of the boys, the way they dug in. I remember [lock] Geoff Parling at half-time really getting stuck into the boys. We came out in the second half and narrowed the gap and then we drew the third Test.’
Lancaster spoke highly of Erasmus as well as Springbok defence coach Jacques Nienaber.
‘Rassie Erasmus will do a great job in galvanising the South Africans. And the person people haven’t talked about much is Jacques Nienaber, who was the defence coach at Munster. He’s a very good defence coach. If you get those South Africans organised defensively, irrespective of their attack, then it’s a tough series.
‘I watched South Africa play here in November and Ireland beat them 38-3. What has changed is that Rassie will bring back some players from overseas. If you put the best SA team together, it’s a formidable team, and then you layer on their sense of pride in the shirt.’
Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images