Scotland brace for physical Boks

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend says the Springboks provide the biggest physical challenge in world rugby.

Townsend talked the Boks up on Wednesday, saying that their performances against the All Blacks and France this year showed they would be a tough team to beat at Murrayfield on Saturday.

‘It’s the No 1 physical challenge,’ he added. ‘We get physical challenges in the Six Nations with the likes of England and France and Ireland, but any coach will tell you that the biggest physical challenge is South Africa. It always has been.

‘They have evolved their game since Rassie Erasmus took over but they’ve not gone away from the forward pack. They select the biggest and strongest men they can find.’

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Townsend said beating the Boks would be a bigger achievement for his team than beating England earlier this year.

‘Given what South Africa have done recently, it would probably be our biggest win in the last couple of years.

‘England stands out as such a memorable win. The fact they had won so many games in succession and that trophy [Calcutta Cup] we play for makes it even more special. But I just feel that South Africa are in the top two or three teams in the world with the way they play against the best teams in the world.’

Scotland have beaten the Boks five times in 26 Tests. Their last win came at Murrayfield in 2010, with the Boks having won the last five encounters.

Photo: Ben Radford/Getty Images