Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus doesn’t mince his words.
And if you have listened to him carefully as the Boks gear up to face world champions New Zealaand in Wellington tomorrow at 9.35am, it’s clear that this clash is the biggest on the Bok calendar heading into next year’s World Cup.
In the words of Erasmus: “The moment you beat New Zealand in New Zealand you’re back to where you want to be and your planning is on track and you can tell yourself you’re really contenders at a World Cup.”
Currently ranked seventh in the world and facing the top team, he adds: “I really think after this game we will know where we stand.”
Earlier this week Erasmus said that if he loses this match, he’d have no problem losing his job.
Whether that’s true or if it’s just a rallying call to his charges, one thing is clear; he has pulled out all the stops to win this match and regain the nation’s faith in the Springboks.
The Bok boss also believes he has picked the best available squad for the clash, saying: “This team is pretty much our strongest available.”
After last year's 57-0 defeat, the odds are stacked against SA. But it looks like Erasmus wants to be judged on this performance. So will he crash and burn, or is this the start of their rise to the top?
Rugby Championship meetings: