Special week for Whiteley
South Africa captain Warren Whiteley said the Boks had a good week of preparation and are excited to face France at Loftus Versfeld this Saturday.
The two countries meet in the first of three Tests, with matches to follow in Durban and Johannesburg. Whiteley will skipper the Boks for the first time, succeeding hooker Adriaan Strauss who retired at the end of last season.
"This has been a very special week for me personally, with the birth of my son Samuel on Monday, which is really a special gift," explained the number eight.
"Our team preparations over the last few days have been great and we’ve had three good camps, which made the transition into Plettenberg (last week) and this week in Pretoria really smooth."
Regarding the new-look Springbok line-up, Whiteley said: "There’s obviously a lot of excitement in the squad, it’s our first Test of the year and we have four uncapped players in the starting line-up plus another one on the bench."
However, the Springbok skipper warned of the forward and attacking danger of the visiting French team.
"They have one of the best set-pieces in the world and we don’t expect them to move away from their proven DNA of the last couple of years," said Whiteley.
"They have a powerful pack and also big outside backs, so it’s going to be a real challenge for us, however, it is something we are all looking forward to."