Published: 16:46 | 29/10/19

Erasmus pleased with Springboks progress

South Africa head coach Rassie Erasmus says he is pleased with the progress that his squad have made over the past year despite winning few fans with their style of rugby.

The Springboks have played a very controlled, tight game en route to the World Cup final which has left them on the receiving end of some harsh criticism from rugby fans worldwide.

However, Erasmus is unapologetic, insisting that he is delighted with the progress that the squad have made given the challenges they’ve faced over the past year.

"If one understands where we've been coming from - being number six, seven or eight in the world - then we've had certain challenges," he explained.

"One of those challenges was to redeem ourselves and become a power again in world rugby and try to be ranked number one and two.

"By doing that you have to have some building blocks in place and we've followed a certain route and played according to the stats and the way the game is being refereed currently and what gives you good results in the short term and on the scoreboard.

"So we certainly accept that there are some things in the game that we have to improve and we take it on the chin.

"But we feel that we have put ourselves in a position to maybe win the World Cup and we are in the final.

"We accept the criticism, but we are also happy that we are in the position to compete for a World Cup final, which is where we ultimately want to be."

Erasmus, who has added winger Cheslin Kolbe to an otherwise unchanged squad for the final following his recovery from an ankle injury, is relishing the meeting with England on Saturday.

"What I do expect on the field is a very well-coached England team," the former Munster head coach added.

"A fit England team with a great tactical plan, and then obviously the physicality they brought in the semi-final New Zealand, was just on the next level.

"It's been a long time since I saw an England team pitch up with that amount of physicality.

"They must be brimming with confidence and I'm sure they are ready to bring that same intensity. We will have to be really up to try and match that."

Image: Getty

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