Springboks coach Jake White has launched the World Cup mind games for France 2007, by declaring: "England will feel the pressure more than us.''
South Africa and Sir Clive Woodward's world champions will again face a pool stage showdown that promises to shape their respective tournament destinies.
If England repeat their victory of the 2003 World Cup, then they are likely to face a quarter final rematch with Wales, probably in Cardiff.
Defeat though, and Australia, the team England dramatically beat to lift the Webb Ellis Cup last November, loom large.
The first of several dress rehearsals will be staged at Twickenham in November when South Africa arrive as one of England's three autumn Test opponents.
Current momentum in the fixture is with England - they haven't lost to South Africa since a narrow Pretoria defeat almost four years ago - but both White and England coach Andy Robinson know that a lot could happen between now and September 2007, when the sixth Rugby World Cup kicks off.
White has recently taken over at the helm in South Africa, and he compared the Springboks current position with that of England four years ago.
White said: "We are probably now where England were four years ago, and the November Test at Twickenham now becomes a very important game.
"But it is wonderful that we will be able to measure ourselves against the world champions. We have a tough schedule over the next two years,'' added White, who revealed that current South African players plying their trade in Britain could be part of his World Cup build-up.
South Africa are currently at a low ebb, having struggled for form in the international arena and been dogged by off-field problems.
White added: "I don't believe that South African rugby has ever been lower. We've let ourselves down, but we are a proud rugby nation.''
England were represented at the draw by Robinson and flanker Richard Hill, who opened proceedings by carrying the Webb Ellis Cup on to the stage before Rugby World Cup chairman Syd Millar and French Rugby Federation president Bernard Lapasset made the draw.
Robinson said: "The great thing for us is that we will be playing all our games in France - we will be housed in one country, whereas we could have had Ireland at Lansdowne Road or Scotland at Murrayfield, for instance.
"We have got to play South Africa a number of times over the next few years, and I am sure that with Jake White coming in, they will develop a new identity during that time.
"In the World Cup last autumn, we had two really tough matches in our pool against South Africa and Samoa which enabled us to gather some momentum - it was good that we had those games.
"I am happy with it, it is a good draw. We will play anywhere, and you have to win these games anywhere in the world.''
Hill added: "It was a great encounter against South Africa in the last World Cup, and I am sure that they will want to beat us.
"The draw has thrown up a lot of similarity for us with the last World Cup.''