Peter de Villiers says a Wallabies win over the All Blacks should make life much easier for the Springboks.
The Boks have won all three of their Tri-Nations matches and are in an ideal position to win the tournament. Both Australasian teams, however, need a win on Saturday to remain in the contest, and the Bok coach is hoping Australia end New Zealand’s campaign.
‘We know where we can benefit from that,’ he told The Pretoria News. ‘We know that if Australia win it will be much better for us. But we are in such a favourable position right now where we can control our own destiny. We are focusing on one game only and that is the one in Perth.’
De Villiers also said players returning from injury and suspension, Ruan Pienaar and Schalk Burger, will not be pushed into the starting line-up ahead of the incumbents Morne Steyn and Heinrich Brussow.
‘We are blessed in that we do have brilliant rugby players and they draw a lot of energy from each other. The players are not in competition with each other but are rather dependent on each other. At this moment I would say it is great to have this type of competition.
‘We have a situation where players are scared of being injured because they might lose their place in the team where in the past players knew that their place in the team was guaranteed. The path back into the team is now very difficult.
‘But we are also in a privileged position where players know that they are not fighting each other for places but rather sitting down and sharing information and the intellectual property we have in the team.’
Burger may win a starting spot regardless due to Juan Smith’s battle with an ankle injury. Should Smith fail to recover before next Saturday’s Test against Australia, Burger will wear the No 7 jersey.