Koen’s comments followed the team’s 35-8 defeat against the England U20’s in Coventry on Friday in their penultimate international friendly ahead of the international showpiece, which will be hosted in Argentina from 4 to 22 June.

“We were beaten by a better side on the night,” Koen said after reviewing the match. 

“The weather conditions were challenging and they adapted better than we did. 

“We were in the game for 70 minutes, but we were completely outplayed in the last 10 minutes, so we have a lot of hard work ahead to get ready for the World Rugby U20 Championship, but the team is looking forward to the challenge.”

Zooming in on the performance, Koen said: “There are a few aspects of our game that still require a lot of attention, and this includes our set pieces and attack. 

“There is a lot of detail missing in terms of our attack and we are one-dimensional at the moment. We are lacking creativity and we are not playing with enough variation, so there is a mountain of work ahead in the next four to five weeks. 

“The aspects we need to improve on are areas that we have been working on, but we are still not at the standard we need to be. 

“We are certainly aware after this match that we are still far from where we would like to be as a team, and while it is disappointing, it has given us a good idea of where we are currently and what we need to work on.”

Looking ahead at the Wales clash on Tuesday, 30 April, which will close off the team’s UK tour, Koen said: “I think the biggest thing for us is that this match will provide these players on tour with one last opportunity to stake a claim for places in the 28-man World Rugby U20 Championship squad. 

“We are only announcing our final squad early in May and there are about 10 players who did not tour with us due to injuries or examinations, so our squad is still far from being finalised.”

The Junior Springboks will travel to Cardiff on Sunday for the second leg of their UK tour, with the team returning to South Africa on Thursday, where they will continue their preparations for the World Rugby U20 Championship in Stellenbosch.

They will depart for Rosario on Wednesday, 29 May, where they will face Scotland (4 June), Georgia (8 June) and New Zealand (12 June) in the pool stages.