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South Africa captain Jean de Villiers says his side will be ready for anything that Argentina throw at them when they face each other in their Rugby Championship opener on Saturday.
The pair meet at FNB Stadium in Soweto in what promises to be a bruising encounter between two of the sport’s most physical teams.
Playing in their first Southern Hemisphere tournament last year, the Pumas almost caused a massive upset as they claimed a famous draw against Heyneke Meyer’s men and have only continued to improve since.
Key to their chances will be the performance of their formidable pack, who despite the absence of their inspirational leader Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, are sure to test the Springboks who themselves are known for their excellent forward play.
Last year’s result in Mendoza came as something of a shock for the South African camp and appears to have signalled a wake-up call for a country who had started to look complacent on the field.
Meyer has since reinvigorated his team, selecting a number of exciting backs and his positivity paid off as his side remained unbeaten in the June Tests.
De Villiers admits the Boks were surprised by the Argentineans last year but insists they will be fully prepared for whatever Santiago Phelan’s men throw at them on Saturday evening.
“We are expecting anything and everything and we are well prepared in that regard,” De Villiers said. “We put up some good performances in the three June tests and at the end of last year, not conceding a try. We will be ready for whatever they throw at us.”