Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth said he and his team-mates are focussed on delivering a good performance on Saturday evening against France, when the two teams meet at the Stade de France in Paris.
“We have a job to do on Saturday and our focus is on the game,” said Etzebeth.
“I am sure back home everyone is disappointed with the outcome of the (2023) Rugby World Cup bid, but that will not have any influence on us.”
Etzebeth mentioned that following the loss to Ireland in Dublin last Saturday, the team sat down at the beginning of the week and had an honest and tough discussion.
“So far, the week has gone very well for us, our preparations have been good and we are ready for a tough match against France. We know we have to improve in all areas,” said Etzebeth, who added that the return of No 8 Duane Vermeulen has boosted the experience in the squad.
“Apart from his experience, he is also an exceptionally good option at the back of the lineout. We all know Duane is a world-class No 8, a good ball carrier and a good tackler.
“Duane also captained Toulon so he has great leadership qualities, which will be of help to me on the field and it’s just awesome to have him back.”
Saturday will also be the farewell Test for Springbok assistant coach Johann van Graan, who joins Munster next week following a stint of six years with the Springboks.
“Coach Johann is an incredibly hard worker, very knowledgeable and he has great people skills,” said Etzebeth.
“I personally enjoyed his company and the opportunity to work with him. He has all the qualities of a very good coach and we want to wish him and his family all of the best in his new adventure at Munster.”