That is why Mzwandile Stick, one of the Springbok assistant coaches, reckons the Test at the Emirates Airline Park will again be a very competitive match between the two sides.

Saturday’s match on the Highveld starts at 17h05 and will be televised live on SuperSport. The game is the first of three Tests the Springboks will play in a shortened version of the 2019 Castle Larger Rugby Championship. The South Africans will play the All Blacks away in Wellington next Saturday, and then face Argentina in Salta on Saturday, 10 August.

According to Stick, a game between the Springboks and the Wallabies is always a big clash: “If you look at the history of games between the two sides in the Castle Lager Rugby Championship then you will see it’s always a tough game."

Meanwhile, the Springboks have been training with a big squad of 39 players throughout the previous four weeks – three weeks at a training camp in Pretoria, and since Monday in the build-up to Saturday’s season opener in Johannesburg.

Stick reckons there are great benefits in having such a large pool of players together over an extended period of training time.

“Sometimes you don’t have enough numbers of players on the training pitch and then it’s not ideal when it comes to the sessions," said Stick.

"Currently, every time we trained we had two full teams which meant we could really have a full go at one another.

“Even though it was disappointing not to have our teams qualify for the semis and final of Vodacom Super Rugby, it meant we could get the boys into camp at an earlier stage. We have a great plan and we did really well so far to manage the squad superbly.

"We still have some work to do before Saturday, but we are looking forward to play, especially in Johannesburg, where we’ve always had great support in the past,” added Stick.

The Springbok assistant coach was also asked about the talented young scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies, who has been included in the training squad after some impressive performances for the DH Stormers.

“It really shows life is about opportunities and Herschel grabbed his with both hands when he got a chance at the DHL Stormers in Vodacom Super Rugby," said Stick, a former Blitzbok captain.

“Herschel played very well and if you look at his performances this year you will see he has been very consistent.

"He is clinical with the basic aspects. He has a good pass and when the opportunity presents itself, he will snipe around the rucks and score tries. And even for his size, he makes a lot of tackles on those big forwards, so he is courageous and also a fighter. He is certainly has great potential and I am glad he is part of our squad."

Nearly 40 000 tickets have been sold for the Test, which is one only two that the Springboks will play at home before travelling for to Japan at the end of August to participate in the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Tickets can still be bought by clicking here.

Rassie Erasmus, the SA Rugby Director of Rugby, will announce the Springbok team for the Wallabies Test on Wednesday afternoon.