x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

'Boks will be fresher'

South Africa have played just one match in the last seven months, but assistant coach Gary Gold laughed off suggestions that the world champions will be rusty going into the first Test against the British & Irish Lions tomorrow.

UMHLANGA // South Africa have played just one match in the last seven months, but assistant coach Gary Gold laughed off suggestions that the world champions will be rusty going into the first Test against the British & Irish Lions tomorrow. The Springboks beat the minnows Namibia last month 36-7, but despite the scoreline, they failed to impress. Several members of the side also failed to see out the Super 14 season because of injuries.

But the former London Irish coach Gold said the Boks would be match fit for the game at Durban's ABSA Stadium. "I don't think we are short of game time, we are not moaning about being under-done," said Gold. "Most of our guys played 13 gruelling weeks of Super 14. The guys are ready to go. "The thing that certainly impresses me is the spirit and camaraderie of the team. "The guys know each other particularly well and that's where [head coach] Peter de Villiers deserves a lot of praise for the consistency and intelligence of his selections."

Gold argued the Boks would be a lot fresher. "I would much rather be in this position than if we had played games and picked up injuries," he said. @Email:sports@thenational.ae