Stuart Lancaster insists he is looking forward to his England side taking on the might of the South Africans in the upcoming three-match Test series.
England have lost their last seven Tests against the Springboks and are 9/4 with bookmaker to win the first match in Durban, but the head coach is “quietly confident” his players will do themselves proud.
Lancaster helped to restore the fans’ faith in England during the Six Nations campaign following a disappointing World Cup and hopes their progress will be evident in the Test series.
He said: “If we are serious about becoming one of the best sides in the world, which is ultimately what we are, we need to benchmark ourselves against the best and play against the best.
“This is what we are doing. We go into the game very respectful of the challenge but, equally, we should have quiet confidence about our ability as well.”