JUNE 15 2007 14:00h
The Springboks will draw on inspiration from former president Nelson Mandela when they meet Australia at Newlands on Saturday.
The sides meet in a Mandela Challenge Plate match which doubles as the first Tri-Nations game of the 2007 season. Saturday is the 31st anniversary of the Soweto Riots, a milestone day in the liberation struggle in South Africa.
"The significance of the day will impact on us massively," Springbok skipper John Smit told reporters.
"Over the last three to four years the influence that Madiba (Mandela) has had on our team is huge. All that he stands for, and certainly his charity 46664, is something that we've supported for years. He is close to us.
"He faxed through a message to the team wishing us the best for the game and urging us to bring the Plate back to South Africa."
Team manager Zola Yeye said. "This is not an ordinary match, it's dedicated to the youth of 1976."
After comfortable wins against England and Samoa the Springboks expect a tough match against the Wallabies, who are fresh from victories over Wales and Fiji.
"This is the first major test of the season," Smit said. "It all starts now and the window dressing is over. This is where you get judged, against these big sides.
"When you play against Australia and New Zealand over a six-week period, if you have one slip, even if it's for a few minutes, they will make you pay.
"Australia are very good at adapting to another team's weaknesses, so we can't afford to relax because it will cost us dearly."