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European Bok Tour Watch – Week 1

The wait is finally over as we all get ready for another International season to get underway with all the Southern hemisphere teams taking on their European counterparts.

For most of us it will be the Springboks touring Europe that has our tails wagging and wagging it sure is after the amazing Rugby Championship the Boks had under new Coach, Rassie Erasmus.

With matches scheduled against England, France, Scotland and Wales, the Springboks know they have a tough tour to get things right with only 4matches left after this tour before next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Saturday 3 November 2018 – England v Springboks, Twickenham @ 17h05

This will be the match of the tour for Rassie Erasmus and his Springboks as they look to beat the old enemy yet again this year.

They met earlier this year in June and the Boks walked away with spoils 2-1 over Eddie Jones’ Roses.

Being a once-off fixture only, Eddie Jones will be determined to settle the score for the 2018 season and even though he might be missing a few players due to injury, notably the Vunipola brothers, Jones will know he has home ground advantage this time round.

Will home ground advantage be enough to stop an ever growing Springbok outfit?

This is the question on most Springbok supporters’ lips this weekend. Also how will the Boks cope without Faf de Klerk and Willie le Roux, who is not available for selection due to this Test being played outside the regulatory Test Window, so to speak.

This Test will surely be more of a look into where our shortcomings are but at the same time to make sure we keep on growing in the right direction ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. There is no doubt the Springboks have areas of concern as was evident in the last 7 minutes in Pretoria where they lost an almost guaranteed victory over the All Blacks.

That is water under the bridge now and the focus is on where the Boks are going.

Eddie Jones and his management will be very wary of what selections Rassie and his crew will be making for this game and with the likes of 5 Boks Captains Siya Kolisi, Duane Vermeulen, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth and Warren Whiteley all starting, with RG Snyman and Bulls lock partner Lood de Jager on the bench it is very clear that this game will be won or lost by the forwards and the attention from the backs will be less evident than in previous games this year.

It has been reported that England are preparing for a forward onslaught and calls from players have already been made to stand up if they want to beat the Springboks. Another interesting factor is how influential John Mitchell will be in this match, having knowledge of the Springboks “blueprint”.

Knowing Rassie, he will have a plan in place that will surely throw the Roses a curve ball but we will have to wait and see what happens on Saturday and if the Springboks can get their tour started on the right foot ahead of their next 3 tough assignments this November.

PREDICTION: Springboks by 6

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