- Springbok coach Deon Davids expects England coach Eddie Jones to pull an ace up his sleeve ahead of Saturday’s Test at Twickenham.
- Jones’ side came through the fire at the weekend as they fought their way back from 25-6 against the All Blacks to draw the game 25-25.
- Southern hemisphere teams have struggled to win at Twickenham in recent years, with Argentina being the only side to do so for the past four years.
Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids said England coach Eddie Jones’ resourcefulness and inventiveness are just some of the challenges they will have to face when they face England at Twickenham on Saturday.
On a cold and rainy afternoon at the Boks’ Lensbury Hotel base in Teddington, Davids admitted Jones’ general tactical and selection sharpness, with the former Australian head coach alluding to choosing Maro Itoje on blind flank to make way for the South African-born Dave Ribbans. start at the lock next to jonny hill.
Such a change is ostensibly to challenge the Boks’ line-up and maul, which was a little off against Ireland and France, but came right against Italy.
READ | Boxing: Once-endangered Faf steals his ‘scrummie’ spot
Davids said they need to be able to respond to whatever England throws at them.
“Eddie is a good coach who always has something up his sleeve, so we don’t expect anything different for this game,” said Davids.
“We have to be perfect in terms of our focus and how we will respond to the challenges they will bring us.
“We always prepare for a difficult encounter at Twickenham.”
England go into the Test after a thrilling 25-25 draw against the All Blacks, where they pulled from a 19-point deficit in the last 10 minutes.
READ | ‘Absolutely unbelievable’: Bok whore sings Kurt-Lee’s praises
England had shown flashes of brilliance throughout the second half after a slow start, but watching them take the lead at the back was frightening and fascinating.
The Boks, who have not won at Twickenham since 2014 and have lost their last two games there against England by a point, are well aware of England’s renowned resilience at home against the southern hemisphere teams.
Until the November 6 loss to Argentina, England had not dropped a game against Southern Hemisphere opposition at home since a one-point loss to the All Blacks in 2018.
READ | Matfield calls on SA Rugby to take a stand on Rassie: ‘Things don’t look good in the world’
It is for this reason that Davids sees England as a major threat, despite the Boks having momentum from their big win against Italy at the weekend.
“We have no illusions that it’s going to be a big test and that England is a big threat,” said Davids.
“We were happy with last week’s result, but England are a different challenge with their well-coached divisions.
“We have to be ready for this challenge and make sure we prepare well for the game.”
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber is expected to call his match day 23 for the England Test on Tuesday, with kick-off at 7.30pm Dutch time.