Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer knows that his side travel to Australasia as underdogs for what will be the sternest test of his coaching tenure yet.
Meyer has not lost one of his five Tests in charge of the national team, but drawn matches against both England and Argentina have raised doubts over their ability to compete with the Wallabies and All Blacks.
A string of injuries has put Meyer in an even more difficult position, and with all of these factors counting against them the Bok coach expects to be written off as a threat in the Rugby Championship.
"We trained really well this week but I think they won't be giving us a chance overseas," Meyer said before the squad left for Australia on Saturday.
"It is always good for the Springboks to be labelled 'underdogs' but I would like to see where we stand by the end of this tour," he said.
South Africa face Australia in Perth next week and New Zealand in Dunedin the week after, and Meyer said they were realistic about their chances against their fellow Southern Hemisphere powerhouses.
"I think it goes without saying that it will be a tough tour," he said.
"We'll be playing against the best in the world and we'll know exactly where we stand. I'm very realistic and I know it will be difficult."
Australia, their first opponents on tour, went down in both their matches against New Zealand, but Meyer believed the Wallabies would hit back hard with a point to prove against the Boks.
"Our record is not that great against Australia and we have quite a few inexperienced players, especially in the loose forwards," he said.
"We can't take anything away from them. They are a great team.
"Australia will want to come back with everything they have after losing to New Zealand but I am really looking forward to the tour and the Tests."
Meyer said that a tour such as this provides the perfect opportunity for players to start showcasing their abilities as he starts to build a squad for the 2015 World Cup in England.
"We have an inexperienced pack so it will be a good test for everyone and that's the only way they will learn," he said.
"If they come through after these games, I'll know exactly which players are capable of going through to the next World Cup."
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