“Italy will be a tough opponent at home, playing with a lot of pride and passion and they will be looking for an improved performance against the Springboks. We want to be technically and tactically better against a side that is playing at home and eager to show improvement,” Van Graan said. “But, as I said, we must improve in other areas as well. I think our scrumming against England was probably the best in the past five years or so and our line-outs functioned well too.”
There is no doubt that the Boks game will take a massive knock ahead of the Italy clash, with Eben Etzebeth missing out and Pieter-Steph du Toit having to keep changing positions. This will also mean more time to adjust for Lood de Jager, who has to play with a different lock partner this weekend.
Coetzee will name his team to face Italy today, with Strauss and Pat Lambie expected to lead the attack, while Bryan Habana returns from injury to possibly start on the wing alongside Ruan Combrinck, with JP Pietersen expected to sit on the bench. Given how Coetzee sees things, Nizaam Carr might start at flank.