Joel Stransky has predicted a 2-1 series win for the Springboks against England in June.
In a candid interview with the Mirror, the 1995 World Cup-winning flyhalf said the Boks would lift themselves for the series.
‘To be quite frank, when we as South Africans talk about the teams we like to beat the most other than the All Blacks, we mention Australia and, definitely, England,’ he said.
‘So this is a huge series for us. It doesn’t matter from what low base the Boks come, there is a lot of pride and history behind them and at home they don’t capitulate. The fact [that] it’s the end of the northern hemisphere season and England players will be tired is another consideration, as are their injuries.’
England captain Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes, George Kruis, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Nathan Hughes and Sam Underhill have all been ruled out of the series, while Billy Vunipola remains doubtful.
‘All that paints a picture where you’d think the Springboks should be feeling relatively confident,’ Stransky added. ‘England-South Africa is not a fixture you can just pitch up to expecting to win. I take South Africa to win the series 2-1.’
Jones is set to announce his touring squad and stand-in captain on Thursday. Stransky urged him to consider flyhalf Owen Farrell for the captaincy.
‘Owen has really come of age. He’s a great decision-maker who wears his heart on his sleeve and leaves everything out there. Those are the traits you want from a leader. And when you are an established player in the team, one that picks himself and demonstrates great leadership, it’s a no-brainer.
‘I had my doubts three or four years ago. Based on the fact he was a little hot-headed, he’d have the odd brain explosion. But that seems to be a thing of the past. And anyway, Eddie showed with Hartley that he likes to give the hotheads more responsibility to calm them down. So giving Farrell the captaincy may well be the perfect thing to do.’
The three Tests will take place on 9, 16 and 23 June.
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