Boks are 'second best'
South Africa may be ranked second behind New Zealand on the IRB list of Test nations, but they remain a formidable foe.
South Africa may be ranked second behind New Zealand on the IRB list of Test nations, but they remain a formidable foe and a benchmark for most.
Replacement fullback Peter Murchie, who won his debut cap for Scotland against South Africa in Nelspruit last year, is looking forward to getting another crack at the Springboks.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's one-off Test in Port Elizabeth, the Glasgow Warriors back admitted the Boks have become a bit more "expansive".
"There may be a few changes to the squad, a few young players coming in," he said of the five new caps and 14 changes from the matchday 23 that sneaked a one-point (31-30) win over Wales last week.
"But they are obviously a quality team, the second best team in the World," Murchie added.
He felt the Boks will play the same way that they have been playing for the last 12 or so months.
"They are a little bit more expansive," he said.
Asked about a four-Test tour that was split in two parts - with the first group playing against Canada and the United States, while and almost entirely new squad was named to face Argentina (last week) and the Boks - he said it gives players an opportunity.
"There is no bigger task than going to a different country and play teams in their own back yard," dismissing the notion they will just roll over to have their tummies tickled by the South Africans.
Coach Vern Cotter also heaped praise on the opposition.
"I've always regarded playing South Africa in South Africa as the benchmark," Cotter said.
"It's a massive challenge and it gives our boys an opportunity to lift their level.
"If we can make accurate choices in the way we play and impose our form of rugby then I think that will be a shift in the right direction.
"I've been pleased with the initiative that's developing within the team.
"We're starting to get good variety in our game. Now it's a matter of seeing if we can do it against very good opposition."