Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has warned his team to expect a backlash from the French visitors at Emirates Airline Park.
The Boks arrived in Johannesburg on Sunday evening and resumed their preparations for the final match of the series against the French on Monday morning.
Coetzee said although the series is already won, he will resist the temptation to make wholesale changes, adding that the match would be an opportunity to build capacity in certain positions.
“There won’t be wholesale changes for Saturday,” Coetzee explained during his media briefing on Monday at the team’s hotel in Fourways.
“We know that France will be playing for pride and we are preparing for a huge backlash. We need to improve in a few areas, and so will need to retain the combinations that worked nicely, and maintain our continuity.
“The fact that we have won the series won’t influence our approach to the match. We will continue to work on our processes because there’s still a lot of work to be done. I am however pleased with the progress and the effort of the players in the previous two matches.”
Springbok team doctor, Dr Konrad von Hagen, confirmed that Jesse Kriel is currently busy with the final phase of his return to play protocol and will be available for selection if he comes through the tests. The midfielder received a blow to the head in the first Test in Pretoria, which resulted in a weeklong layoff.
Oupa Mohoje, however, is still symptomatic from his head clash early in the first half in Durban, which resulted in substitute Jean-Luc du Preez taking his place on the side of the scrum. Mohoje will not take part in any training this week and he is therefore ruled out of contention for the weekend’s game.
“There are the usual bumps and bruises but that is to be expected after tough and very physical Test match,” said Dr Von Hagen. “Other than that, the players are in good physical condition and in high spirits.”
The Bok team to take on France in the final series encounter will be named on Thursday afternoon.