There is plenty to play for when South Africa and England clash at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Saturday even though the third and final Test is a dead rubber.
Having built an unassailable 2-0 series advantage by winning in Durban and Johannesburg, the Springboks are aiming to maintain their seven-year dominance over the English by making it 10 wins on the trot.
The record South African winning streak against a fellow top-10 nation in the International Rugby Board (IRB) rankings is 13 over Wales and Argentina followed by 10 against Italy.
Author and award-winning journalist Mike Greenaway of the Durban-based Natal Mercury attributes the superiority of the green and gold over the white and red to strong, settled teams.
"South Africa have had strong teams since the run began with the likes of John Smit and Victor Matfield in the vanguard while England always seem to be rebuilding," he told AFP.
"These winning streaks tend to go in cycles with England winning seven Tests in a row -- including a 53-3 triumph at Twickenham in 2002 -- before the South African dominance began."
Another reason for both teams wanting to succeed before an expected capacity 45,000 crowd in this coastal city is that the top four ranked teams avoid each other when the 2015 World Cup draw is made this December.
Reigning world champions New Zealand, Australia and South Africa have filled the top three positions for some time, but England surrendered fourth place to Six Nations champions Wales after two defeats by the Springboks.
Should the rankings remain unchanged until the December 3 draw in London, England would find themselves in the same World Cup group as one of the four best teams.
Pride is another factor with new Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer wanting to maintain his perfect record while rival Stuart Lancaster is facing a third consecutive loss after winning four Six Nations games in his debut tournament.
The last time South Africa faced a dead rubber was against the 2009 British and Irish Lions and the decision of coach Peter de Villiers to experiment backfired with the tourists winning 28-9 in Johannesburg.
"Continuity" is a word Meyer has used often this month and, significantly, all four personnel changes in the England series have been enforced, with a different full-back starting each Test.
Zane Kirchner wore the No 15 shirt in Durban before being injured, Patrick Lambie started in Johannesburg and suffered a similar fate, and now little Gio Aplon has a chance to impress a coach who generally favours bigger players.
Blindside flank Jacques Potgieter replaces crocked Willem Alberts, the man they call The Bone Collector and one of the series stars, while inside centre Francois Steyn is getting married Saturday and his place goes to Wynand Olivier.
Only five of the England third Test team have been chosen for all three in the same position -- right wing Chris Ashton, hooker Dylan Hartley, tighthead prop Dan Cole, lock Geoff Parling and flank Tom Johnson.
Ashton is overdue a try having failed to cross the line during five Six Nations matches or in two Tests against South Africa while Hartley leads the team in the absence of injured flank Chris Robshaw.
Injuries have played a part with full-back Mike Brown, scrum-half Ben Youngs and Robshaw ruled out at different stages of the three-week South African safari while Lancaster has tinkered with his team to try and find a winning formula.
A strong early second-half showing lifted South Africa to a 22-17 victory in Durban while it took an electric JP Pietersen try to seal a 36-27 second Test win after a rousing England fightback slashed a 19-point deficit to just four.