The Springboks are desperate to end their two-year losing streak against the All Blacks with the next World Cup looming on the horizon.
Boks captain Jean de Villiers made that clear overnight as his squad went into a training camp ahead of their Rugby Championship opener against Argentina. The Pumas might be in their sights, but the All Blacks were clearly on their minds.
"It still is a one-game-at-a-time approach and our focus is on Argentina," De Villiers told media in Johannesburg as his squad assembled.
"But for us as a team, to go forward, it is important to beat the All Blacks. We haven't done so in the last two years and that is one of our goals.
"We want to be the best team in the world and we want to get back to No 1 and to do that we need to beat them."
The Boks haven't beaten the All Blacks under current coach Heyneke Meyer, coming out on the wrong side of some epic matches.
In 2012, the All Blacks won 21-11 in Dunedin and 32-16 in Johannesburg. Last year New Zealand triumphed 29-15 at Eden Park and backed up with a 38-27 win in Johannesburg.
Their last victory was on the eve of the 2011 World Cup when the All Blacks fielded a largely second-string team in Port Elizabeth. South Africa won that 18-5, a month after being hammered 40-7 by a full-strength New Zealand outfit in Dunedin.
The All Blacks have dominated the global game since reclaiming the World Cup in 2011 and as their defence of that trophy grew closer in England next year, the Boks were eager to put a dent in coach Steve Hansen's New Zealand machine.
Clearly Australia's expected improvement on the back of their improved Super Rugby showing was also concerning the Boks for the four-team southern hemisphere test battle.
"I don't think the focus is just on them (the All Blacks), the Wallaby team will be very competitive this year as well," De Villiers said.
"We can't just focus on one team and when you beat them think you've made it, but it is one of the boxes we haven't ticked in the last two years.
"We want to be able to tick that box and go into next year confident."
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