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DESPITE beating the All Blacks in their three encounters last year, the Springboks will need to be cautious for the Tri-Nations matches in New Zealand.
They travel to New Zealand on Sunday in preparation for the tournament that kicks off in two weeks' time.
Two Tests in the space of a week - one at Eden Park in Auckland and the other in Wellington - will be a tough ask for the world champions.
And while many may have one eye on next year's World Cup, also billed for New Zealand, Springbok captain John Smit and coach Peter de Villiers are concentrating solely on the task at hand.
"If we want to go there with the focus on next year we'll miss the plot. We want to go there and focus on things we've built up over the last few Tests," Smit said.
"If we can come away (from New Zealand) with a result then we can say afterwards whether we can use that as a building block for next year's World Cup."
The four Tests the Springboks have played this year have been decent preparation for the Tri-Nations, but it will be a definite step up in intensity.
Though All Blacks coach Graham Henry has experimented in naming his squad for the series, it still has an experienced look to it with players like John Afoa and Corey Flynn.