South Africa v Scotland: Vern Cotter expects 'bruising' match

International Test: South Africa v Scotland

  • Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
  • Date: Saturday, 28 June
  • Kick-off: 16:00 BST

Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland, live text coverage on BBC Sport website

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter says South Africa will be tough to contain, despite new faces in the Springboks squad.

Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer has called up five uncapped players for the Test in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.

"They have major changes on their bench but their starting line-up is pretty experienced, they've got their core players still there," said Cotter.

"We expect them to be as bruising as they always are."

Cotter has overseen wins against USA, Canada and Argentina in his first three matches in charge during the summer tour, but he knows South Africa represent a step up in class.

"If we lay off them for an instant they will give the ball to their outsides who have a lot of speed," added the New Zealander.

Glasgow scrum half Henry Pyrgos

Glasgow scrum-half Henry Pyrgos knows Scotland have to be at their best against the Springboks

Cotter also said his side will need to keep a close eye on captain Victor Matfield, the most capped Test player for South Africa.

"Victor Matfield has been around for a while now so everything will be constructed around him, especially from line-outs," he added.

"We'll try to get parity on the set-piece, we'll defend until we can't defend any more and hopefully we'll keep it close. If we do that, you never know.

"They have ex-sevens players out there so they are a team you just cannot let go. You have to get a grip on them and hold on as tight as you can."

Cotter revealed he will wait until after Saturday's match to fully assess his squad but insisted he has been "impressed" with his side during the tour.

"They are a very positive group," he added. " I'm very happy with the way the guys have thrown themselves into the work."

"It's hard at the end of the season, but the players have been willing and have shown a good attitude."

Glasgow's Henry Pyrgos is among the starters for Scotland in Port Elizabeth, and he is well aware of the threat posed by the Springboks.

"We have to do everything exceptionally well, our basics have to be really sharp, and we have to show intensity in all areas of the pitch," said the scrum-half. "They're a quality side and will punish any mistakes we make."