England will be a great challenge, says South Africa’s Heyneke Meyer
South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer says his side will approach their Test series against England with caution
South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer admits England’s Six Nations form has earned the Springboks’ respect ahead of June’s three-match Test series.
England’s four out of five victories in this year’s Championship weren’t enough to secure a second title in two years but Meyer saw enough to know his team will have to be at their best to wilt the Red Rose in the summer.
Meyer was appointed head coach in January and could be without back row pair Schalk Burger and Juan Smith for his debut at the Springbok helm against England on June 9.
The World Cup-winning duo are currently injured and the 44-year-old former Bulls coach has also ruled out a return for former captain and lock Victor Matfield.
But Meyer insists that whoever takes the field for the first Test in Durban will be prepared for a full examination from the English tourists.
“There’s a lot of respect for England,” said Meyer.
“They started slowly at the Six Nations, but grew stronger and stronger during the tournament.
“England will be a great challenge. They have done brilliantly after the World Cup and I’ve been impressed with the way they fought back and the character they showed.
“You don’t beat France away from home if you’re not a great side.
“I did want to play an experienced side but a lot of players are not available.
“It’s not an ideal situation but you can’t make excuses. It’s going to be a huge challenge for us but the guys are really motivated.”
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