The Springboks, who arrived in Nelspruit on Friday afternoon, will enter the competition with a Castle Lager Incoming Series victory against Wales under the belt, while the All Blacks come off a series defeat and against Ireland.

And despite the perception that this could serve as the ideal opportunity for the Boks to kick off the tournament with a bang before their tour to Australia and Argentina and then returning to South Africa for their final home match against Argentina in Durban, Le Roux warned that the All Blacks pose a dangerous threat.

“I wouldn’t say it (the Boks’ Castle Lager Rugby Championship draw) is an advantage,” said Le Roux.

“Obviously, we are excited to play at home in front of our supporters in Nelspruit and Johannesburg, and then we have a tour against Australia and Argentina before coming back home for our last Test, so it’s going to be a good challenge for us.

“Matches between the Springboks and All Blacks are always big games, and it is one of the biggest rivalries in world rugby. The fact they come off defeats against Ireland will inspire them even more going into the next few games. I have no doubt they will come here and give their best.

Damian Willemse, Steven Kitshoff and Willie le Roux all attended Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch.

Damian Willemse, Steven Kitshoff and Willie le Roux all attended Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch.

“They’ll definitely want to turn things around, so the important things for us will be to show who we are and to ensure that we do not disappoint our fans.”

Le Roux, who has 74 Test caps to his name and is one of the more experienced players in the squad, reckons the Kiwis will be looking to rectify the mistakes they made in their last few Tests against the Boks.

“But we intend to give our best, and we know the matches will not be a disappointment for anyone,” he added.

With utility back Damian Willemse becoming a regular feature in the Springbok match-day squad and an exciting option at fullback, flyhalf and centre, the experienced Le Roux said he did not see his role as different to the past.

“I wouldn’t say I am a mentor to Damian,” said Le Roux.

“We are in the same team, and we learn from one another. I’m still learning from him and Warrick (Gelant) as well, just as they do from me.

“That said, Damian and I have a good connection and we also come from the school (Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch).”