The Boks suffered narrow defeats against the two top-ranked teams in the world, Ireland and France, in the last two games, and Kolisi said his charges were determined to change their fortunes.

“We come off two tough games, which we lost,” said Kolisi.

“Our focus is completely on playing Italy. It's a big game for us. We don't want to go three games without a win. So we’ll show Italy the respect they deserve. We saw how they played in the last two games, so know what they can do.”

Kolisi added: “We'll be playing for South Africa, for the people back at home. Playing to win the game is all that is on our minds right now. The most important thing is to make sure that we stand up tomorrow because Italy is a very good team.”

With next week’s final Castle Lager Outgoing Tour Test against England falling outside the international window, which means the Boks will be without the services of a few overseas-based players, Kolisi said the team had extra motivation to turn their season around.

“Some guys are going back to their clubs next week and this may be the only opportunity they get to play for the team again before the Rugby World Cup,” said the skipper. “So we want to prove ourselves in this game.”

Kolisi said Italy provided a big threat all around with their set pieces, breakdown play and their backline presenting several different skills.

“They have shown that they can play against any team at any time,” said Kolisi.

“Their set pieces are strong and their breakdown work is very good. They can scrum very well too and they have backs that can attack from any place at the field, so they've grown a lot as a team since we last played against them.

“I think sometimes teams don't show them the respect they deserve, so we have done a lot of research on them and their individual players to see what they will bring to the game.”

Speaking specifically about their breakdown play, Kolisi said: “We’ve been worked on our breakdowns and we know what we have to do in that area as Italy is very good there. Their captain and flanker (Michele Lamaro), hooker (Giacomo Nicotera) and No 8 (Lorenzo Cannone) are good on the ground, so we want to need to be as effective as we can in that department.”

The match kicks off at 15h00 SA time and will be broadcast live on SuperSport.