South African Springbok vice-captain Victor Matfield
said fatigue would not be an issue when the world champions face England
at Twickenham on Saturday.
This weekend’s match will be the
Springboks’ 13th Test in six months and their 20th since the start of last
year’s World Cup campaign in France, which ended with them beating England
15-6 in the final in Paris.
Last Saturday, South Africa struggled to beat
Scotland 14-10 at Murrayfield, a match where they trailed 10-0 and the
previous week they had to
withstand a rally by Wales before winning 20-15 at
the Millennium Stadium.
South Africa coach Peter de Villiers, speaking
Monday, said: “Sometimes it’s very, very difficult to motivate yourself to
stand up and just go on and on and on… there’s a mental fatigue that nobody
But second-row Matfield, a member of the World Cup final-winning
team, insisted the Boks would not be slacking come their last Test of
“The end of tours are never easy but it’s a great challenge for us
against England on Saturday, so I’ll believe the guys will definitely
mentally be right there 100 percent,” Matfield told reporters at the squad’s
hotel here Tuesday.
“It’s a great test for us at the end of the season
and hopefully we can come through it.”
Springbok flanker Schalk
Burger, also a World Cup-winner, said South Africa could take heart from the
way in which Australia beat a new-look England side, now under the control of
Martin Johnson, 28-14 at Twickenham last weekend.
“It’s a great
opportunity on Saturday. The Wallabies have also had a long season and they
came out and played good rugby.”
South Africa assistant coach Dick Muir
added: “We’ve had to condition the players and manage them through
“It’s natural that after a long season that guys start tiring.
But you don’t need any motivation to play England.”
South Africa were
due to reveal their Twickenham team on Tuesday but have delayed that
announcement by 48 hours because of injuries to key players such as Fourie du
The scrum-half missed the Scotland game with a strained quadriceps
muscle and is battling to be fit for Saturday.
Hooker Bismarck du
Plessis and prop Gurthro Steenkamp are both definitely out of the first
meeting between the two countries since the World Cup final. The pair
suffered hamstring and ankle injuries respectively against
However, Muir said he was “sure Bryan Habana will start” after
the star wing suffered a thigh knock at Murrayfield.
England’s 2003 World Cup-winning captain, named his side for this weekend’s
match on Tuesday.
He recalled flanker James Haskell in place of Tom Croft
in the only change to the starting side beaten by Australia.
1st XV features four survivors from the team that kicked-off in the World Cup
final – wing Paul Sackey, No 8 Nick Easter and props Phil Vickery and Andrew