De Villiers focused on Pumas Test

Peter de Villiers says South Africa will not make the mistake of looking beyond their Mandela Challenge match against Argentina next week. [more]

De Villiers focused on Pumas Test

Peter de Villiers says South Africa will not make the mistake of looking beyond their Mandela Challenge match against Argentina next week.

The Springboks face the Pumas in a celebration of the 90th birthday of Nelson Mandela, and a repeat of last year’s World Cup semi-final.

But already talk is of the challenge of facing Australia and New Zealand who arrive for the eagerly-awaited Tri-Nations series in the three weeks afterwards.

But coach De Villiers insists there is no way the Boks will be underestimating their immediate opposition.

“We know them, they are going to ask a lot of questions, so we will not underestimate them,” he said.

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“This is still an international. Although everyone in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand is focusing on the Tri-Nations, this is a great opportunity for us to prepare for the Tri-Nations home leg at Test level.

“It won’t be easy. Home ground advantage does not win games, we still have to do the hard work.

“But we have what it takes to do well.”

Despite injuries to Ryan Kankowski and Peter Grant, De Villiers felt there was no need to call for replacements.

“We have enough depth (in the squad) to fill those positions.

“All the players in the squad will be considered for the Argentina Test.

“But on Sunday we will cut the squad down to 24 players. It will then be reduced to 22.

“It makes it easier for us to have a group of 22, particularly since the longest flight to call up a replacement would be two hours.”

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