Thu, 22 Aug 2019

Wellington - Hulking South African hooker Malcolm Marx said the Springboks would not be taking a backward step against the All Blacks at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

Marx said last year's upset 36-34 victory at the same ground was pivotal in rebuilding a side that had slipped to seventh in the world rankings and endured a 57-0 mauling in their previous appearance in New Zealand.

"It was important for SA rugby to be honest... it built a lot more confidence in South African rugby," he said.

Marx added that another win in Wellington could give the Springboks a similar boost ahead of the Rugby World Cup where they will face the All Blacks in the pool stages.

However, it would be a feat easier said than done, he noted.

"I wouldn't say we're underdogs, we're focusing on ourselves and where we can improve, not on them," he said.

"I think it might bring a bit of momentum, obviously, but we have to focus on (the match) first."

Assistant coach Matt Proudfoot said the Springboks could not afford to think too far ahead.

"When you're playing the world's best team in their own backyard you pay respect to that and prepare yourself for that challenge, irrespective of what's at stake later in the year," he said.

Proudfoot said his forwards were relishing the prospect of testing themselves against the All Blacks.

"We want to deliver ball to our team that we can play off and set our game plan down... we really want to put our standard down."

Saturday's clash is scheduled for 09:35 (SA time).

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