Nick Easter could yet prove a thorn in the side of South Africa at the World Cup, according to a former Springbok skipper, following his four-try haul in reigning champions England's 62-5 rout of Wales at Twickenham.
England and South Africa are due to meet in a key Pool A clash in Paris on Sept. 14 with the winners set to face Wales in the quarter-finals and the losers left with a seemingly tougher last eight assignment against Australia.
Former South Africa captain Andre Vos, Easter's back-row colleague at London side Harlequins for the past few seasons, said his clubmate's achievement in becoming the first England No. 8 to score four tries in a Test should not be underestimated.
"I am delighted for Nick because he has been the outstanding No. 8 for the past two seasons and, while he may have only traveled a couple of feet in total for those four tries, he is going to show in the coming years he can score from any distance," Vos told Monday's London Evening Standard newspaper.
"The Southern Hemisphere guys don't really have an appreciation of the forward strength in England," he said.
England's victory featured both their highest score and biggest winning margin against a major rugby nation with an under-strength Wales conceding nine tries in all.
But Vos, even allowing for a lacklustre Wales display, said England -- who beat the Springboks in Perth four years ago on their way to winning the World Cup -- sent a clear message with their performance last weekend.
"England have put down a very impressive marker and it is one that will have the Springboks worried. Having played against these guys in the Premiership, I know England have powerful forwards who can not only match the 'Boks, but beat them up front," he said.
Easter was replaced at Twickenham by Lawrence Dallaglio, who scored a try of his own.
"If a guy in my position scores four tries, I am delighted for him," Dallaglio said. "It does not faze me in the slightest. We have got genuine competition in a lot of places, but if someone raises the bar then you have to raise it even higher."