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Rugby | Springboks

Watercooler chat: England v SA



Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer announced his side to take on England earlier this afternoon.

The supersport.com team will be on hand all morning to discuss everything that is going on.

Share your thoughts on what it is you'd like to see happen and we will aim to answer all your questions, share your opinions and give you all the relevant information.

Our senior correspondent Gavin Rich has joined up with the Boks on tour and will be attending today's press conference. We'll get him to share from there.

In the office the team will be made up of senior correspondent Brenden Nel, site editor Johan Coetzee and content producer Thando Mxoli.

To interact with us, make use of the Facebook comments section below this article or get us on Twitter making use of the hashtag #sswatercooler.

We asked the team members to get the ball rolling and give us their score predictions for Saturday and the thinking behind it. Here is what the gave us:

Brenden Nel (@brendennel): It will be close, and it won’t be pretty, but the Boks know pretty well how to play the English right now. The Bok defence pattern is working well and the forwards are playing as a unit – barring injuries. But we still need improvement in the backline play. I’m not so sure we will see it this weekend, but the Boks have enough confidence out of the June tests to know how to win. Boks to win 25-19.

Gavin Rich (@blbby15): Phew. Difficult one. Boks by 6.

Twickenham is a venue where the Boks of this era always seem to get up, and they have the additional motivation offered them by the treatment of Eben Etzebeth this week.

Eben will lead the charge and Vermeulen, Louw and Alberts will back him by ensuring the Boks dominate the collisions.

Not as easy as the last two times the Boks were here, but enough to win the game.

Thando Mxoli (@thando82): England might be playing at home but they don’t have enough on attack to trouble our improved defence. We still have one the best forward packs in the world and should win that battle, our loose trio will win the battle of the breakdown.

We will score one or two tries and beat with them with penalties by playing the game in the right area of the field.

Boks to win 27-15.

Johan Coetzee (@jwcoetzee): This game is very interesting in theory, because with the Springboks having started life under Heyneke against England, it allows us to see if there has been any progress with our national team.

Personally I feel that the Boks are slightly better off than they were in June. The pack is certainly a far more formidable unit while we've also upped our game on defence. We've regressed, however, when it comes to playing with ball in hand. At Coca-Cola Park we were treated to some fine interplay by the Bok outside backs, seeing JP Pietersen earn a man-of-the-match award; somehow I doubt we'll be treated to that sight again on Saturday.

My biggest worry about Saturday is if the Boks concede a big lead early on. If goal-kicking can't get us out of a mess, do we have anything to fall back on?

All things considered, however, I'll favour the Boks to win 21-16.

Well, there you have it. Agree, disagree? And what must the coach do to inject some inspiration? Let us have it.

Shop

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The 2014 SA Rugby Annual is the official record of the South African season and is widely considered to be one of the finest yearbooks in world rugby
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Victor - My Journey
As the most capped Springbok ever, Victor Matfield is a national hero who transcends rugby provincialism and has fans across the world
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The Poisoned Chalice
The Springboks have had several post-isolation coaches, and if they agree on nothing else, they will concur that everyone in the job suffers enormous pressure
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Coach - Marco Botha
At 34, Heyneke Meyer was fired as head coach of a Super Rugby team for the second time
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