England better prepared than SA - Smit

England better prepared than SA - Smit

Former Springbok skipper John Smit believes England can win Saturday's first Test against South Africa as they are better prepared than the hosts.

Although few enthusiasts are predicting a series victory for the tourists, Smit expects England to do well - especially in the first Test in Durban.

England arrived in South Africa on Thursday and impressed under coach Stuart Lancaster during the Six Nations campaign.

They have been preparing for the series since Lancaster announced his squad early in May, while new Bok coach Heyneke Meyer had to wait for the weekend's Super Rugby fixtures to be completed before he named his squad.

Smit feels that could have a huge impact on Saturday's Test.

"In terms of the three Tests it is good for England with the first one in Durban," Smit told Press Association Sports.

"They went out there two or three days ago and they will be better prepared than South Africa so it is a good opportunity for them.

"And it's different for South Africa as they are coming straight in from Super Rugby.

"I don't know Heyneke personally but I would imagine he will be ready for this week, but I will be curious to see how that first Test goes," added Smit.

England are not the only European nation on tour in the southern hemisphere. Ireland and Wales are up against New Zealand and Australia respectively, while Scotland also take on the Wallabies, Fiji and Samoa.

Although teams from the northern hemisphere usually struggle on such end-of-season tours, Smit believes the recent World Cup proved that the teams from up north have shown considerable improvement.

"These games now are getting tougher and tougher," he said.

"At the World Cup there were a lot of teams competing for a spot in the final.

"The game is growing and everyone is putting more time, effort and money in so I think the gap will continue to shrink and it's great for the game."