South Africa will go into Saturday's Tri-Nations encounter against Australia in Durban knowing that time is fast running out as they bid to get their World Cup preparations back on track.
The tournament in New Zealand is just under a month away, but the Springboks have yet to show the potential they did two years ago and the pressure is quickly growing on Peter de Villiers' side.
Captain John Smit, however, has called for calm saying the clash at Kings Park should not be used as a benchmark as to how they will perform at the global spectacle.
Smit, who will run out for the last time in the green and gold at his home ground said it was important to isolate this weekend's result.
"We certainly want to win playing at home in our back garden with a strong team against Australia, who are ranked higher than us in world rugby," said Smit.
"It's an important day for us."
The two countries are meeting for the 73rd time in Test matches and although the world champions have a 41-30 win-loss ratio, they have beaten the Wallabies just once in their last five meetings.
The Wallabies convincingly beat an understrength Boks team 39-20 in the opening match of the Tri-Nations in Sydney three weeks ago.
The 33-year-old Smit, due to win his 105th cap, said it was important that the group who hasn't been together for a while and hasn't played for some time gelled quickly.
"We haven't had too much time, just a week together, and we got a big Test match on Saturday," he said.
"It's one of two games before we get into a World Cup. So this is just part of the preparation, but it's an important test match to win."
De Villiers has made a string of changes to his line-up, 13 in total from their last Tri-Nations match which ended in a 40-7 loss against the All Blacks in Wellington two weeks ago.
Only hooker Smit and loose forward Danie Rossouw survived, with scrumhalf Fourie du Preez and flanker Heinrich Brussow returning for the first time in almost two years after being sidelined with shoulder and knee injuries respectively.
Butch James was named at flyhalf with Frans Steyn selected at fullback in what is the most capped starting XV in Springbok history with a total of 810 caps.
De Villiers, who rested around 20 of his senior players during the trip to Australasia, would also have been relieved that Rossouw (illness) and fellow number eight Pierre Spies (groin) both came through fitness tests after missing training earlier in the week.
"It is a strong team and probably one of the best we've been able to pick, yet there's still a few guys that weren't available through injury," said Smit.
"It really has been fantastic [to have all the senior players] - being able to sort of delegate the duties.
"We've created an amazing understanding between five or six of the guys in terms of what their responsibilities are on the field and who covers what area.
"Hopefully it's going to slot back to how it's been for the last five or six years."
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