The Springboks arrived in Wellington on Monday morning and have focused their attention to their next match in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, on Saturday against New Zealand in the Kiwi capital. The South Africans travelled overnight from Perth in Western Australia via Auckland to Wellington and were greeted with a beautiful sunny day. Saturday’s match, which kicks off at 09:35 (SA time), is the Springboks’ third successive away Test in the competitions and facing the defending champions presents arguably their biggest challenge to date this season.
“We’ve always said we’re striving to be the number one team in the world and what better way to measure yourself than by playing against New Zealand,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. The Springboks want to bounce back from their disappointing 24-23 last-minute defeat to Australia and according to Meyer, this weekend’s Test presents an opportunity to do that. “What happened in Perth is behind us and we’re looking forward to Saturday’s match. We’re facing the number one team in the world and we know that nothing but our best will be good enough to win here in Wellington. Our away record in the last couple of seasons is good and although we’ve got a lot of respect for the All Blacks, we believe we can win this match if we play like we know we can. It’s been five years since the Springboks last beat the All Blacks in New Zealand and we’ve only won there three times since 1998, but we’re confident that we have what it takes,” said Meyer.
Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts reported no serious injury concerns and it’s expected that all the players in the 30-man squad will take to the training field at Porirua Park on Tuesday afternoon.