England are set to face South Africa on Saturday at the Stade de France but believe the World Cup will be decided in other areas.
Springboks boss Rassie Erasmus is skilled in what Warren Gatland describes as “dark arts”, such as using mind games to give his team an advantage, including through the use of social media to “control the agenda”.
The most recent example is the suggestion that the Springboks used HIAs in their quarter-final win over France last Sunday to give strikers Duane Vermeulen, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Bongi Mbonambi a rest – a claim denied by Erasmus.
Attack coach Richard Wigglesworth insists England know they will be targeted in the final four in Paris and even believes their media output is being closely monitored.
“I’m sure with the intelligence of their coaching staff, they’ll definitely try to throw things at us. Will it be the winner or loser of this game? Probably not,” Wigglesworth said.
“It’ll probably be the big elements of the game that decide that and then they’ll give those little nuances a chance.
“I wouldn’t like to guess what they’re going to try to do because I know they’ll be watching and hearing everything we say. I wouldn’t want to try to give anyone a head start.
South Africa are aiming to win their fourth World Cup and enter the second semi-final as heavy favourites, while few give England a chance.
“If there is pressure on South Africa, then they have shown they can deal with it,” Wigglesworth said.
“They fixed it in the last World Cup and fixed it in many matches. It’s not something we hold on to.
“I’m super impressed with their outfit. They have evolved a little but without changing their DNA, which we know is incredibly physical with a good kicking game supported by a rushing defense.
“It’s something we’re going to have to deal with, but we also have to make sure we give them something to think about.”