Assistant coach Mzwandile Stick has thrown his support behind Elton Jantjies, who have earned a rare start at flyhalf for the Boks in Edinburgh.
The Springboks take on the high-flying Scots at Murrayfield on Saturday and coach Jacques Nienaber has sprung a few selection surprises, including that of Jantjies at No 10 with Handre Pollard rotating to the bench.
But while they are two vastly different players in terms of playing style, Stick explained that the Bok gameplan will not be altered because of the switch at flyhalf and added that he was excited to see what Jantjies brings to the table.
“We won’t change our gameplan because of one individual,” Stick said.
“We know what Elton offers, and he certainly brings an X factor on attack. As coaches we give the players the freedom on the field to make decisions when they see opportunities, so I don’t think Elton will go out there and try to change things.
“He knows our gameplan and he is always effective in how we like to play, so for us the important thing is to play our best rugby.
“I’m excited and happy to see him [Jantjies] get the opportunity as well.”
Commenting on the threat Scotland will pose at Murrayfield, Stick said the Springboks expect a bruising battle from the hosts.
“They are a good team all around, ” he said. “If you look at the balance in their side, they have very physical players, and if you give them time and space they will punish you.
“So, the key aspects for us will be to ensure that we execute our gameplan well and to be physical. It’s going to be a tough one, but we’ll be up for the challenge.”
Captain Siya Kolisi echoed Stick’s sentiments, admitting that this will be the strongest Scottish lineup he will play against.
“This is probably the strongest Scottish side I will face. I haven’t played many games against them, but one can see the quality of the side in the way they play and the fact that they have a few British & Irish Lions players,” he said.
“They have an attacking flyhalf in Finn Russell, and a lot of experience with Stuart Hogg at the back, so it is going to a challenge all around.
“That said, we are looking forward to a hard battle for the full 80 minutes. Our focus is been on our game, and to make sure that our plan works.”
South Africa have only lost twice in Scotland since 1992 – with those defeats coming in 2002 and 2010, respectively – but Kolisi is wary to take too much confidence from the Boks’ impressive record there.
“We have a great record in Scotland, but that can change,” warned Kolisi.
“We saw last week how things can change because we haven’t won in Cardiff in a long time, and we did last week.
“It can give you confidence, but we still have to pitch up there tomorrow and do the job.”