Peter de Villiers believes the recent victories for the Cheetahs and Stormers bode well for the Springboks in a World Cup context.
Speaking at a commercial announcement on Wednesday, De Villiers said the respective South African teams had struck a mental blow against their New Zealand counterparts.
‘The two games I will put down this year that have set a marker for the World Cup is the one in Bloemfontein where the Cheetahs beat the Crusaders, that was a turning point for us, and then [Friday's] game where the Stormers came back to win on the same field where the World Cup final will be,’ said De Villiers, failing to mention or concede that the Boks went down at the same venue in the 2010 Tri-Nations.
‘For a South African team to come from being down and to win it, is enough food for thought for the Kiwis and I hope we can build on that.’
A number of senior Springboks have struggled with injury in the current Super Rugby competition, but De Villiers believes this will allow them an opportunity to rest.
‘It [the current crop of injured players] is actually good because we didn’t plan it, but the guys we wanted to get a rest are getting it by chance. For us to have them fresh at the World Cup is important.
‘I know what I am saying is not news to the players’ ears because they are patriotic to their unions, but I have my South African hat on and any injury from now on will be a worrying factor because time wise it will not be suitable to get them ready.
‘But at this moment I am a happy man.’