The Springboks arrived in Brisbane late on Monday (Australian time) after travelling in two groups to the capital city of Queensland, where they will face the Wallabies in the opening round of a condensed Castle Lager Rugby Championship on Saturday.
The squad of 31 players and five management flew from Johannesburg via Sydney, while the rest of the management travelled via Perth to Brisbane.
The Springbok medical team will make sure every member of the travelling squad is fit and raring to go before the first training session on Tuesday.
“We’ve usually travelled to Australia on a bye weekend, giving us one extra day to prepare, but we don’t have it this year and we’ll will have to make sure we hit the ground running on Tuesday,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.
“We worked on a couple of new things since we got together and the match against the World XV was a good barometer to see where we stand. The challenge this week would be to improve on certain aspects of the game and to fine tune others.
“We need to make a big step-up against the Wallabies. It will be a very high tempo game and proper Test match rugby against one of the top sides of the world.
“They had two teams in the semi-finals of Vodacom Super Rugby this year, which probably points to more depth in their structures, but I saw since the day we got together a passion and excitement amongst our players to make our country proud.”
Meyer will name his match-23 to play in the Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday. It’s a venue that has not been kind to the Springboks in recent years, although South Africa scored a brilliant 38-12 victory over the Wallabies in Brisbane in 2013.
“Before that match, the Springboks had never beaten Australia at Suncorp Stadium and although the match was played two years ago, we’d like to build on that performance,” said Meyer.
“They are always a tough opponent at home – since the start of the Tri-Nations in 1996 and later in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, the Springboks have won only three out of 23 matches against the Wallabies in Australia, drawing one and losing 18.
“This was also clear last year when we played very well, but they managed to beat us with the last movement of the match in Perth.”
Meanwhile, with The Castle Lager Rugby Championship set to kick off this Friday, La Unión Argentina de Rugby (UAR) has confirmed its final home match against South Africa on Saturday 15 August will be played at Vélez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires, kicking off at 16:40 local.
The Springboks have visited the stadium on two occasions, posting a 39-7 win in December 2004 and 34-23 in November 2005, while Los Pumas have an 11-15-1 record since the venue’s first Test in 1986.
The stadium is situated in the west of the Argentine capital and has previously hosted 27 Tests, the most recent of which was England’s victory over Los Pumas in June 2013.
Not only does the match serve as the last opportunity for fans to farewell Los Pumas ahead of the Rugby World Cup, but it also marks the 50th anniversary of Argentina’s 1965 tour of South Africa and the UAR will celebrate the occasion with all living players and personnel.