After an encouraging performance against the All Blacks last time out, Lancaster’s men can take a big scalp this weekend
The roar of Twickenham will welcome another rugby super power from the Southern Hemisphere on Saturday, as England meet the Springboks in what promises to be another excellent match up.
The home nation’s last triumph over South Africa was way back in 2006 and since this victory, the two sides have met 11 times with the Boks winning 10 of those matches and the other ending in a draw.
However, the last time the two sides met in 2012, the gap was closed considerably. In front of a packed home crowd, England lost by just one point, with the game finishing 15-16. A year on and they look even stronger, as the team enter the final stages of preparation before heading into the World Cup next year.
South Africa looked extremely vulnerable in their last match against Ireland, in which they fell to a 29-15 defeat. Ireland’s pacey backline caused the Boks all kinds of problems and they can expect similar treatment this time around against Lancaster’s men.
Orchestrated by half-backs Danny Care and Owen Farrell, the English backs caused New Zealand plenty of problems at the weekend and the side has moved on from the heavily reliant kicking game of years gone by. Having managed an average of 22 points in their last six games at Twickenham, it is hard to see South Africa exceeding this points tally against a free scoring England side.
Jonny May, Kyle Eastmond and Mike Brown could well be the stand-out names again for this game, as they will look to torment an ageing South African side. The raw pace of these players will make an impact on Saturday and it is hard to see how the opposing defence will be able to cope with them.
The boys in white look to be in great shape for this match and I am backing them to respond to their narrow 21-24 loss to the All Blacks with an impressive win against South Africa.
The last time England lost at home to a side other than New Zealand was in 2012 and they should be able to maintain this record in a fired up Twickenham stadium.