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Springboks to measure progress against All Blacks

Allister Coetzee JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images

The Springboks are looking forward to measuring themselves against the best team in the world when they meet the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship in Albany on Saturday.

The Springboks and Wallabies played to a 23-23 draw over the weekend in Perth, maintaining their unbeaten record in 2017. But on Saturday the Springboks face their toughest assignment of the year when they meet the No 1-ranked team in world rugby on their home turf.

"New Zealand is the benchmark," said Springbok coach Allister Coetzee."This contest is an exciting opportunity for our young team to measure ourselves against the best rugby team."

Coetzee also pointed towards the growth of the current Springbok side this year, following a disappointing 2016 when they lost eight of the 12 Test matches they played in, including a record defeat to the All Blacks in Durban.

"This is a different side compared to last year," he said. "We have showed a lot of improvement up to now and last weekend in Perth was another opportunity for the side to gain experience. However, we are now facing a team who doesn't seem to have any weaknesses.

"They have great leadership and world class players, while Beauden Barrett is their catalyst. The patience and discipline of the All Blacks are some of their key strengths, so for us it will be a great occasion to measure ourselves."

The South Africans arrived in Auckland just before midnight on Sunday, and the players were back on the training field on Monday afternoon at the Trusts Sports Arena after completing their recovery sessions in the morning.

Replacement prop Wilco Louw was expected to join the squad late on Monday as replacement for Coenie Oosthuizen, who suffered a broken arm in the Wallaby match in Perth. Coetzee will name his match day squad on Thursday.