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#WATCH: Rassie would have two World Cups rather than this

The marketing tagline of ‘unfinished business’ between South Africa and Ireland is not part of the Springbok conversation.

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This is the view of Bok coach Rassie Erasmus.

The Springboks have been hard at work in Pretoria preparing for this Saturday’s Test against the No.2 ranked team, Ireland, at Loftus Versfeld.

Since 2017 the Irish have secured three wins over the Springboks, including a 13-8 victory in last year’s World Cup pool phase.

For some the three losses could fuel a vendetta of revenge.

However, Bok coach Rassie Erasmus dismissed the notion and stated that he would rather take two World Cup victories and a British and Irish Lions series win than focus on the three defeats.

“I think probably from their side there is unfinished business in that they want to get to [the] No.1 [world ranking],” Erasmus said at the media briefing in Pretoria.

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“We don’t talk like that.

“We analyse players.

“We chat about how they performed in the United Rugby Champions and European Cup and we pick our teams accordingly to see the players who we think can do the job for us on Saturday.

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“We train hard, and we try to stay in our reality, and that is that we are playing at home against a team that has beaten us.

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“All the games were close, and they deserved all the wins.

“But there is never a score to settle, I’d rather take the World Cup – two World Cups – and a British and Irish Lions series, and take the three losses, but we never go out to lose.

“We didn’t pick this team to try and lose.”

Despite revenge not being at the forefront of the Springboks’ mind, the experienced matchday 23 is a clear indication that Erasmus’ men are eager to break the streak.

Ireland are the only team the Springboks haven’t beaten since Erasmus took over.

“They’re No. 2 in the world, they’ve beaten us last time,” Erasmus said.

“We don’t see ourselves as underdogs, I don’t think they see themselves as underdogs and I think we’ll see two teams on Saturday who are desperate to perform for their countries.”

Bros before balls

When asked if Jacques Nienaber, who is the assistant coach at Leinster, will have an impact on the Irish game, Erasmus said: “Yeah, definitely it will, no doubt.

“But Jacques phones me every night and tells me everything about Ireland! No, I’m joking.”

He explained “Look, rugby is a professional game. Certainly, he [Nienaber] will implement things there that worked for us here.

“Some of them you can see. Some of them are working, and some of them are not working because players of different countries and cultures are different, and coaches are different.

“When you’re in different countries and cultures, and I know from Munster, you didn’t always read body language and when you said something you’re not quite sure this guy gets what I’m trying to say.

“RG Snyman played for Munster. He’s now a Leinster boy. So nowadays what you see on television and if you follow teams on Twitter, they post all their drills on Twitter and you can see basically who is starting and who is wearing the bib, those kinds of things.

“One thing I can promise you, I will never put Jacques in a position where the people he is working with and the team he loves, which is Leinster currently, thinking he would in any way help us.

“But I also trust him not to tell them the names of moves and calls and those kinds of things. I’m not worried about that.”

 

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