The World XV squad that arrived in South Africa today aims to become the first of its kind to bash the Boks.
This will be only the third-ever tour to the country by a World XV in almost 30 years with previous combinations unable to register a win over South Africa.
“We have come here with victory in our sights,” said coach Bob Dwyer, who coached Australia to World Cup success in 1991. “But, it wonâ€™t be easy.”
“In recent seasons, under Jake Whiteâ€™s guidance, the Springboks have shown great character and have been difficult to beat. Despite a spate of injuries recently we expect the Springbok XV to be tough and resilient.
“It must be acknowledged though that we have an extremely experienced squad that boasts some of the worldâ€™s greatest players amongst its ranks. It will be an interesting contest,” Dwyer said.
The last time a World XV visited South Africa was in 1989. In two Tests, South Africa shaded the World XV â€“ which included the likes of, Philippe Sella, Franck Mesnel, Pierre Berbizier, Peter Winterbottom, Mike Teague, Rod McCall, Jeff Probyn and Tom Lawto â€“ 20-19 in Cape Town and 22-16 in Johannesburg.
The only previous encounter between a World XV and South Africa was in 1977 when the South Africans won 45-24 in Pretoria. The 1977 World XV featured, amongst others, Willie John McBride, Jean-Pierre Rives, Ian Kirkpatrick, Andy Haden, Gareth Edwards, Jean-Luc Averous and JPR Williams.
“These kinds of tours are very rare and we are going to appreciate every moment,” Dwyer said. “As a coach it is great to be able to work with players who are, or have at some stage been, the greatest in their respective positionsâ€.
Dwyer will be assisted by former Welsh coach Mike Ruddock and Wasps forwards coach and former All Black Craig Dowd.
After the Ellis Park clash the World XV will travel to Cape Town for the Corne Krige testimonial match against a WP XV at Newlands on Friday 9 June.
“It is great to have a second match as it ensures that each player on tour gets onto the park. This is a vital part of tours like this and we are looking forward to a great clash with some of the great players who have worn the Western Province jumper in the past,” Dwyer said.
It was confirmed on Monday that Irish flyhalf David Humphreys and prop Peter Bracken were no longer able to tour with the World XV. They are replaced by Gloucesterâ€™s French flyhalf Ludovic Mercier and Brumbies lock Radike Samo.