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Rugby | Springboks

Time to end Springbok jinx



England's assistant coach Graham Rowntree has called on his side to right recent wrongs by ending a 10-test winless streak in games against South Africa on Saturday.

England have not tasted victory against the Springboks since 2006, having been held to a frustrating 14-14 draw when the sides last met in Port Elizabeth in June.

The 2003 world champions were also beaten by Australia in their last outing last weekend, and Rowntree has challenged the England players to channel the pain of defeat into a winning performance at Twickenham.

"We are still hurting from last week," he said on Friday. "It was a game we should have won.

"That last game in Port Elizabeth was a game we should have won.

"We had lost two games on that tour. We had shown some glimpses but we had given ourselves a mountain to climb by conceding tries.

"That last hour before the game in Port Elizabeth we decided that wasn't going to happen again, and we have to recreate that atmosphere tomorrow.

"I want to see the same as we saw in Port Elizabeth, that pure desire for it not to be a defeat again."

England captain Chris Robshaw says his side do not want to be left rueing missed opportunities again, after they ignored several chances to kick for goal in the vain pursuit of a try in the last quarter of the 20-14 loss to Australia.

"The first couple of days after a defeat are always quite hard," he said.

"We watched the video and realised there were opportunities out there. We need to go out there and prove a couple of people wrong and get the right result."

Meanwhile, former South Africa captain John Smit says the visiting side should not be concerned by any pre-match nerves.

The Saracens forward, his country's most capped player with 111 appearances, said it was important to remember where the pressure to perform comes from.

"People don't understand what pressure does to you," said Smit, who handed out the jerseys to South Africa's players prior to Saturday's game.

"Don't pretend it's not there – rather, embrace it.

"When you see your knee jumping nervously, like mine used to do before tests, you realise the privilege you have of pulling that green and gold jersey over your head and representing millions of South Africans."

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Victor - My Journey
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