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Deans excited by Bok challenge

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Sportal.co.nz     15 Jul 2008     Getty Images

The Springboks demonstrated why they won last year's World Cup with a terrific 30-28 win over New Zealand in Dunedin, but the new Wallabies coach is keen to test his side against the best.

"You always like to have a crack at the best," said Deans. "They are the world champions and showed why in doing something that they've never done before [winning at Carisbrook], so they warrant that status.

"They are an experienced group, but it doesn't mean we are daunted by playing them.

"We are looking at it as a good opportunity to see where we are at.

"Every Test match is great, that's why I'm here and I'm looking forward to this one."

Deans is happy to have a week in Perth to prepare ahead of Saturday's match at the Subiaco Oval, where the visitors can expect a good support with a strong base of expatriate South Africans in Western Australia.

"It's good to get here early and settle in to focus on what's coming," Deans said.

"Come training tomorrow the players will have an edge to them.

"It's the start of the Tri Nations, so it's pretty important to us. There will be a full house so the atmosphere will be good and we are looking forward to it."

Deans is well aware of the quality, depth and hunger of the Springboks, who should have little trouble covering suspended hooker Bismarck du Plessis, who has been banned for three-weeks after an incident in the win over the All Blacks. Du Plessis was deputising for World Cup-winning captain John Smit, who has been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament with a groin injury.

"It will be a good way to start," Deans added.

"They have a combination that is experienced, have a lot of continuity from the World Cup and also a lot of depth underneath.

"They are also a hungry bunch who have the taste of success and having won the World Cup they will be keen to push on and win some more, so we are under no illusion how tough it will be."

South Africa has now played two Tri Nations matches already under the slightly varied Experimental Law Variations (ELVs) from the Super 14 season, while the Wallabies played under the old laws against Ireland and France.

Deans is hoping to continue the pleasing progress made in those wins and extend the 100 percent start to his Wallabies coaching career.

"We're happy with the progress we've made, which we had to do but we are conscious of what's coming," he said.

"We won't be able to have any of that drop away now, in fact we need to add to it.

"That's good, though, and we are ready to put in the work required.

"The adrenaline will kick in this week and I don't expect them dropping off at all in any point of the game."