"We expect the British and Irish players to be physical," explained de Villiers, who will be hoping to lead the Boks to their first series triumph over the Lions in 29 years.
"The main thing that I noticed (during the Six Nations) was the physicality of the players and how they rise to the occasion. The physicality of the guys is probably more apparent than the skill levels.
"The intensity of club rugby in the UK is very high, especially in the forward play. There are a lot of good locks and loose forwards. Just look at the Wales-Ireland game - both coaches selected the biggest teams they could.
"Look at sides Ian McGeechan has prepared in the past - he has filled them with big forwards and he likes those players to be in charge.
"I expect that there will be a real emphasis on forward play again when the Lions come to South Africa."
As well as using the Six Nations to take a look at the overall style of play his side are likely to encounter this summer, de Villiers was taking note of a number of impressive individual performances from among the Home Nations.
"A guy like Riki Flutey really stood out for me," he told the Daily Mail.
"He seemed to come on in leaps and bounds and has really put himself into the Lions reckoning.
"Look at Andy Powell - he was a no-name a year ago and now he has really made an impression.
"Then there are the stars who play consistently week after week and you know what to expect from them. Shane Williams is like that, and Delon Armitage has also performed well regularly for England.
"Another player who I really noticed is the England No8, Nick Easter. What a great player he is!"