Springbok skipper Siya Kolisi is confident the defending world champions have laid the building blocks for their team combinations and style of play to all click in France.
Kolisi will lead the Boks in the World Cup warm-up match against Wales in Cardiff on Saturday, and is part of an experienced lineup as head coach Jacques Nienaber looks to start building cohesiveness within his squad for the tournament, which kicks off on 8 September.
“Our focus as a team is just to build and make sure we go [to the World Cup] with momentum, and work on combinations,” Kolisi told reporters on Friday, as the loose forward steels himself for his first Test appearance of 2023.
“The past couple of games the team has been changed so many times, so the coaches could give every single guy an opportunity to improve themselves and try and make the World Cup squad.
“I’ve not been a spectator and I’ve been to all the meetings and I know where the team is at, and I believe our best is yet to come.”
The Boks head to the World Cup having endured the most mixed build-up of the top nations, and were rocked by the loss of three key players – Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am and Lood de Jager.
This, compounded by an uneasiness around Rassie Erasmus and Nienaber’s plans after a heavily-rotated team salvaged a warm-up win in Argentina, following a disappointing Rugby Championship.
Kolisi added: “Like I said earlier, there has been so many changes among the team – there’s been 48 players used in the past 10 games that we’ve played – because the coaches have been wanting to give everyone a chance.
“We know where we can improve as a group … but I think these next couple of games are where you can start looking deeper at what combinations are working.
“And our style, you’ll start to see more of it now. In terms of our previous games, you can’t judge too much because there’s been too many changes.
“We’re in a place where we can improve a lot more, but we’re in a good place.”
The Boks face New Zealand in London next Friday, in their final warm-up fixture before departing for a week-long training camp in Corsica en route to France for the World Cup. Their opening match is against Scotland in Marseille on Sunday, 10 September.