The Springboks are gearing up for a traditionally tough forward battle against England when the two teams clash in their final end-of-year-tour match at Twickenham on Saturday night (kick-off 7:30pm).
The two nations have a long and storied history of big forward battles, and the English pack has grown immensely over the past few years since being smashed by the Boks during the 2019 World Cup final.
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England coach Eddie Jones has also decided to go for experience against the Bok pack, bringing in stalwarts Mako Vunipola and Jamie George into the front row, which sees Luke Cowan-Dickie and Ellis Genge drop to the bench.
“We know how good England’s pack is and I’m not going to say what we’ve come up with (to combat them). We’ve worked really hard this week on focusing on ourselves and what we can improve from the previous games,” explained Bok hooker Malcolm Marx.
“We’ve seen how good and how dominant England’s pack has been, so we know we’ve got a great challenge awaiting us at the set-piece.”
The Boks will be desperate to clinch a win over England at Twickenham, which would be their first at the ground since 2014, especially since their last two games there have ended in one point losses.
It has also been a mixed end-of-year-tour so far with tight losses against Ireland and France offset by a monster win over Italy, so the Boks will want to end on a positive note to make sure they leave with a 50% win ratio from the tour.
“We’ve given our best in every Test that we’ve played in, regardless of whether it’s the first or the last one,” admitted Marx.
“In some, things went our way and in others, they didn’t. So I think the guys are excited and keen to play against England.
“Especially here where we haven’t won in a while, and I haven’t won at Twickenham. I think the guys are excited and keen to empty their tanks.”
With this the Boks final game of 2022m and with the team not joining up together for the next seven or so months, it will also be important for them to take some strong momentum into a World Cup year in which they will be looking to defend their title in France.
England will however be eager to end their season on a high as well, with them having lost against Argentina, beaten Japan and then drawn against New Zealand in their three games so far.