SPRINGBOKS stand-off Elton Jantjies says that he and his team-mates are well aware of the threat posed to them by his opposite number Finn Russell - but believes their priority has to be implementing their own game plan when they meet Scotland on Sunday.

Russell said earlier this week that the home team might employ a kicking game in the match at BT Murrayfield - a suggestion that was seen in some South African quarters as mind games rather than a prediction of what was actually planned. But Jantjies - back in the Springboks’ starting line-up this week after Handre Pollard began last week’s narrow victory over Wales in Cardiff - said that his own side would have to be ready for whatever tactics the home team’s playmaker might try to implement.

“We’ve all seen what he was capable of in that last Test against the British & Irish Lions,” said Jantjies, who plays for the NTT Red Hurricanes in Japan. “I really think he made a big difference and he challenged our group in a different way. So we’ve got a little bit of experience of that. For us it’s just about focusing on our systems, working together as a group and making sure that we stop whatever he’s throwing at us.

“Let’s see on our Saturday what they’re going to bring out - we’ll see in the first 10 minutes, 15 minutes, the way they want to play against us, and hopefully we find solutions. We’re just focusing on ourselves as a group, and on being better at certain things than last week, because there’s always room for improvement. That’s the biggest thing about the group - we just want to get better every single week.” 

The 31-year-old fly-half has happy memories of the last time the team met, having come off the bench at Murrayfield in 2018 and scored a late penalty in his side’s 26-20 win. He is aware of how Scotland have improved since then, and thinks his own team’s status as world champions will be a motivating factor for his opponents on Sunday.

“It’s not the same team that we played in 2018,” he continued “It’s a different-looking Scotland team - obviously similar management, but they give us different challenges, and there are younger players who will be full of energy and looking for them to improve when playing against the Springboks, the world champions. That will always motivate other teams.”