Eskom Rugby World Cup 2023 Springboks

Damian Willemse and Jacques Nienaber. Photo: @BokRugby via Twitter.

Shots fired: Springboks unfazed by Scotland’s South Africans plotting their downfall

Deon Davids has hinted that the Springboks are not fazed by the prospect of facing Scotland’s South Africans in the World Cup opener on Sunday.

Eskom Rugby World Cup 2023 Springboks

Damian Willemse and Jacques Nienaber. Photo: @BokRugby via Twitter.

An epic battle is expected to play out between the Springboks – ranked second in the world – and the fifth-ranked Scotland, with both teams desperate to win the clash with challenging matches against World No 1, Ireland, Tonga and Romania still to come in the pool stages.

LIVE UPDATES: SPRINGBOKS’ ROAD TO THE RUGBY WORLD CUP

SPRINGBOKS UNBOTHERED BY SOUTH AFRICAN-BORN SCOTS

Speaking ahead of the match, Davids was not perturbed by the fact that there were five South Africans (four players and a coach) in the Scottish Rugby World Cup squad, including wings Duhan van der Merwe and Kyle Steyn and props WP Nel and Pierre Schoeman and scrum coach Pieter de Villiers.

“We’ve been facing each other for the last few years, so it will be nothing different for either of the teams,” said Davids.

“I coached with Pieter de Villiers at Junior Springbok level, and I worked with Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel many years ago. So, we are looking forward to playing against the team.”

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SOUTH AFRICA MUST BE SHARP FROM THE START

Davids warned that the team had to be sharp in all aspects of their game against the Scots in Marseille on Sunday to achieve the desired result as they launch their title defence in France this week.

“Every team has their own strengths, and from our perspective, nothing has changed in terms of that,” said Davids.

“Scotland are a good team, so we have to be the best in the way we do things and ensure we stand our ground in each department in this match.

“They play with intensity and there is a good understanding between their players. They also pose threats with or without ball in hand, so as a team we need to be on top of how we control the pressure.

“This game will be about dominance, physicality and alignment in the way we do things.”

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With a successful training camp in Corsica behind them and the team set to have their first training session in Toulon on Tuesday afternoon, Davids was pleased with the Springboks’ preparation for the World Cup to date.

“At this stage we are going well,” said Davids. “We had a fantastic camp in Corsica, and even though it was hot there, we adapted well. Looking at the weather in Toulon it’s good that the players were exposed to that because it was similar to what we are experiencing now.”

The Springboks’ match against Scotland kicks off at 17h45 and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

deon davids springboks
Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids. Photo: SA Rugby website