The Rassie Eramus era started on a good note when the Springboks beat England 2-1 in the June series. However, there are lot of areas in their game that still need a bit of fine-tuning before they take the field against the southern hemisphere's best.
KweséESPN looks at aspects of the Springboks' game that will be in the spotlight during the Rugby Championship.
Defence needs to improve from the England series
The Springboks found themselves on the back foot at the start of the first two Tests against England in Johannesburg and Bloemfontein. Ths visitors ran riot in the wider channels, as the Boks' inexperienced outside backs didn't communicate well on defence and ended up giving the English the space to attack. Defence coach Jacques Nienaber have been working hard to give the players the tools to make the right decisions on defence -- when to shoot up or when to drift wide. The Boks will certainly be tested in this department by the All Blacks and the Wallabies.
Halfbacks need to take charge of the matches
Handré Pollard and Faf de Klerk relied more on individual brilliance rather than tactical acumen to see off the English. But that is not going to be enough to compete with the Wallabies and All Blacks, or even Argentina for that matter. If your halfbacks aren't dominating tactically then you end up making more tackles, which more often than not leads to more penalties for the opposition. Dictating the flow and the pace of the game is going to be key to play on the front foot and frustrating the opposition. Front-foot ball also allows individual brilliance to shine through, as X-factor remains an important part of the game.
Catching the high ball is key against Australasians
The All Blacks, Wallabies and, to a lesser extent, Argentina are fantastic at fielding high kicks. Their kicking game is really good, but they also compete fiercely for the ball in the air. The Boks love kicking the ball down Israel Folau's throat, and the big man normally makes them pay -- with interest. The Boks, unfortunately, don't have that same calibre player -- not a lot of teams actually do -- to deal with those high kicks, but they must find a way to support each other in dealing with the aerial threat.
Boks need to adapt to different conditions
The Springboks were absolutely superb on the Highveld against England. When it's dry, the field hard and the air thin, they can probably beat any team in the world. The Boks relied on a top forward display, which allowed their dangerous outside backs to get into the game and show off their speed. However, in the third Test at a wet Newlands they looked a different team. They couldn't adapt to the weather and made plenty of mistakes, mostly unforced errors. If you want to be the best in the world, you must be able to execute in all sorts of conditions.
Youngsters need more than just a few minutes
Building capacity ahead of next year's World Cup in Japan has been Rassie Erasmus' mantra since assuming the head-coach position. Erasmus is looking to create a situation where he has two players who are on the same level for virtually every position in the squad. The Boks are already quite settled up front, as they have world-class players in the front row and in the lock position, while good loose forwards tend to fall from trees in this country. However, Erasmus is looking for halfbacks, centres and fullbacks who will be able to handle the physical demands and pressure of a World Cup.