Bulls flank Roelof Smith, who was ruled out of the rest of the year-end tour as a result of a bicep injury he suffered in training on Monday, has left the team with another hole to fill.
They are already without other injured loose forwards like Francois Louw and Jaco Kriel, while Heinrich Brussow is not available for Bok selection.
However, Bok assistant coach Matthew Proudfoot believes they will cope when they face a very physical England at Twickenham on Saturday. “It is a position we have had problems in all year,” Proudfoot told a media briefing at the team's training base in London. “We do have a plan in place that we are really confident in,” he said when asked about the openside crisis.
“We have worked hard on it all week and I am happy with where we are at the moment in terms of what we want to achieve on Saturday around the breakdown, the collisions and the contact situation.”
Proudfoot is also confident the Bok pack will cope with the physical England forwards - which destroyed all opposition on their way to a Six Nations Grand Slam and also during their three-nil whitewash of Australia in June.
“Their scrum alignment is superb,” Proudfoot said, adding: “Coming to Twickenham in [the English] winter it [the scrum] is always a focus. “They were superb in the June series [against Australia]. “We know that's where they will look to challenge us and try to disrupt us there. “They have in [Steve] Borthwick and [Neal] Hatley two superb forward coaches and have done really well with the England side. “We know the challenge is there.”
Proudfoot said physicality in rugby is a “pride” thing. “We have had a couple of setbacks this year, that we are not proud of and that we want to rectify.
“If you look at the way England played in Australia, they were superb with that characteristic of the team. “Every Test is about that - it is about two teams slugging away at each other, looking for those inches, looking for where they can crack the other side.”
He said they players still have “immense pride” in the Springbok jersey and that's what they want to play for. “I know South African teams that have come here [to Twickenham], not quite ready, and walked away with a big hiding.”
African News Agency (ANA)
Original source: Boks hatch breakdown plan for England