Allister Coetzee, the South Africa coach, has promised England a physical battle when they meet at Twickenham on Saturday.
The team has suffered a run of five defeats in nine Test matches which has put Coetzee under scrutiny with some claiming that he has moved too far away from the traditional Springboks game plan built on power.
Speaking earlier in the week the England prop Mako Vunipola said that he expects the game to be a ‘brutal challenge’ after a disappointing set of results in the Rugby Championship.
England hasn’t beaten South Africa in 10 years and Coetzee is determined to return his side to winning ways and keep the winning streak alive this weekend. He will be very familiar with the way that England coach Eddie Jones thinks having spent time together on the Springboks coaching staff that won the 2007 world Cup.
Earlier this week Coetzee said, “It will be a physical battle, I can guarantee you that. As Eddie says, you’ve got to match South Africa’s physicality. Rugby’s about physical dominance. I feel comfortable with the words ‘physical dominance’. It’s about coming out on top at scrum-time and mauling. England maul a lot as well.”
He said that the team is looking for more variation at line-out time but “the maul has always been a strength of ours.” Coetzee believes that in terms of South African rugby they need to find the balance and keep the qualities that made them a powerhouse in the past.
However, he believes that they are the underdogs this Saturday with England ranked number two in the world and on a nine-game winning streak. Furthermore, he believes that they will be feeling extremely confident after their recent success in Australia.
England will be missing their injured first-choice second row duo Maro Itoje and George Kruis on Saturday.