Tuilagi already seen at first hand exactly what rugby means to the sporting public of South Africa.
"This is a massive nation that loves its rugby," he said. "They live and breathe rugby here.
"Just being in the England squad and being able to play against South Africa is a dream come true."
For the second Test, Tuilagi is moved to play at inside centre, the position he occupied when Tigers beat South Africa at Welford Road in 2009 before he had even made his breakthrough in senior rugby.
Looking back on last Saturday's 22-17 defeat in Durban and on to Saturday's second encounter, Tuilagi said: "They are very physical, which is what we expect from every Springboks side. It is a massive challenge and I'm really looking forward to Saturday.
"As a squad we're in a good place and we've been training really well. All the boys were frustrated by last week's defeat and we'll take that into the game this weekend."
As well as preparing for the big day on Saturday, Tuilagi travelled to Kimberley on Wednesday to support the rest of the squad in their match against South Africa Southern Barbarians where Tigers team-mate Thomas Waldrom claimed two tries.
"I really enjoyed going to Kimberely for the match," he said. "The boys played well and we coached a lot of kids down there, which was fun. It was nice to see so many kids playing rugby and running around and enjoying themselves."