South Africa will be visiting New Zealand on a mission to continue their climb up the world rugby rankings.
Unbeaten this year, after three wins over France in June and two Rugby Championship wins over Argentina, the Springboks have lifted from seventh to third in the rankings, and they don’t aim to stop there.
Captain and lock Eben Etzebeth told South African media they had two more spots to climb before they’ll be happy.
“We’re still not where we want to be – we all know where the Springboks want to be. From seventh to third in five games is pretty good for us [they won only four of 12 Tests last year], but we’re looking to climb that ladder two more spots,” he said.
South Africa and New Zealand share the lead on the Championship ladder with the Springboks ahead on points differential. They play Australia next weekend in Perth and the All Blacks in Albany a week later.
“After these two games we’ll know where we stand,” Etzebeth said.
Australia would be a better side than their Super Rugby teams showed but Etzebeth was confident the Springboks were benefiting from their preparation this year.
“There will be a difference, but luckily we faced them in Super Rugby, so the guys know what they do. We are well prepared.
“We’ve had better preparation this year, we had more time to prepare,” he said.
The Springboks have been boosted by news that tighthead prop Coenie Oosthuizen will join them on the tour.
A rib injury he suffered against Argentina at the weekend has been scanned and it is not fractured.