Scotland v South Africa: Springboks good enough to win World Cup - Alan Solomons

By Phil GoodladBBC Scotland
Malcolm Marx was a try-scorer in September's win in New Zealand
Imposing South Africa hooker Malcolm Marx was a try-scorer in September's win in New Zealand
Autumn Test: Scotland v South Africa
Venue: Murrayfield Date: Saturday, 17 November Kick-off: 17:20 BST
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Television, listen live on Radio Scotland & online; text commentary on BBC Sport website & app

South Africa have "every prospect" of winning next year's World Cup, according to former assistant coach Alan Solomons.

Rassie Erasmus's side take on Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday following a win in Franceexternal-link and a loss to England.

In September, they beat Australia at home and won away to New Zealand for the first time since 2009.

"This is a side that is well prepared and coached to their strengths," Solomons told BBC Scotland.

"South Africa have certain key men right through the spine of the team. Malcolm Marx at two, Duane Vermeulen at eight, Faf de Klerk at nine, Handre Pollard at 10 and Willie le Roux at 15.

"When they are all playing, South Africa are a very powerful side.

"If they can keep them fit for all of the major games in Japan next year, then I think they have every prospect of winning the World Cup."

Of the five men picked out by former Edinburgh coach Solomons, only star scrum-half De Klerk is missing at Murrayfield.

In his absence, Embrose Papier makes his first Test start.

The Springboks have won their past five Tests against Scotland, with their last defeat coming at Murrayfield in 2010.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend thinks Saturday's visitors are currently "in the top two or three teams in the world" despite a ranking of fifth, one place above the Scots.

With a formidable set of forwards, Townsend said South Africa represent the "number one" physical challenge in world rugby.

"Scotland have a way of playing and it's similar to how Gregor had Glasgow playing," added director of rugby at Worcester Warriors Solomons, who was in charge at Edinburgh from 2013-2016. "I don't think that is going to change.

"I think the Scottish pack will front up. They will try to move South Africa around that's for sure but the Springbok pack is very mobile."

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