Coetzee heaps praise on Eddie's England

Allister Coetzee (Gallo)
Allister Coetzee (Gallo)

London - Springboks coach Allister Coetzee hailed the impact of Eddie Jones and the performance of England this year as the Springboks began their preparations for a four-match tour of Europe next month that includes a Test at Twickenham.

"I've gone through the England tour to Australia. They really played well and focused on a few areas and they've got better and improved. Eddie's done a great job with that," said Coetzee of England's 3-0 triumph in June and the changes made to the team since Jones took over as coach just under a year ago.

"First of all they have belief back in their team; a pack that is a monstrous pack and is a very physical pack. And then... solid defence and to play with two players at 10 and 12 who can kick a mile and put the opposition under territorial pressure and ask the Australians to run from deep. On top of that a 95 percent successful kicker in Owen Farrell.

"So that is what we will be facing. It sounds all dark and that but we will plan and prepare well. And we will always give ourselves a chance, even going to face the No 2 side in the world," Coetzee told a media conference on Sunday.

South Africa face England at Twickenham on November 12 in the key match of their four-game tour. They start at Wembley a week earlier against the Barbarians and also meet Italy in Florence on November 19 and Wales in Cardiff on November 26.

"But the Baabaas game is the most important to set the tone for the rest of the tour. This is a series where we'll have to take it one Test a time."

South Africa named a separate, less experienced squad for the Barbarians match and will bring in key overseas-based players for the three Tests that follow.

Coetzee said it would be business from the start for the beleaguered Boks, returning to work after a record thrashing from world champions New Zealand earlier this month.

"Just because it is not a Test against the Baabaas, we are not going there to entertain. That is the Baabaas' philosophy. We will play to lay the basis to get a successful tour off the ground. The Baabaas will test us but we have to make sure we stick to our processes of how to win test match rugby."

The Springboks began their preparations in Johannesburg on Sunday as they assembled for a training camp ahead of their planned departure for London on Friday.

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