Rugby 5.8.2013 05:00 am

Continuity key for Bok coach

SELECTION: South African coach Heyneke Meyer addresses the media during the Springbok squad announcement for the Rugby Championships. Picture: Gallo Images

SELECTION: South African coach Heyneke Meyer addresses the media during the Springbok squad announcement for the Rugby Championships. Picture: Gallo Images

Despite numerous overseas departures and a series of crippling injuries, the Springboks will bank on continuity going into the Rugby Championship.

Only three players who were not part of the Springbok squad which won the Incoming Series in June have been added to the squad.

They are experienced former Bulls scrumhalf Fourie du Preez, who has been selected for the Boks for the first time since the Rugby World Cup quarterfinal exit in 2011, Gurthro Steenkamp (prop) and Duane Vermeulen (No 8), who last played for the Boks in November 2012.

“We’ve managed to keep a lot of continuity between this squad of 30 players and the squad that did duty during the Incoming Series, said Bok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“As I’ve said before, it’s vitally important for the younger players in the set-up to get more experienced and increase their Test caps, but this will be a very tough Championship and we will have to be at our very best,” he said.

Although there seems to be a lack of quality back-up at tighthead for Jannie Du Plessis and only two specialist wings, Meyer has managed to keep the nucleus of the squad together.

Injured players who have been part of the squad in the last two seasons, but were not considered, are prop Frans Malherbe, lock Pieter-Steph du Toit, flank Arno Botha, No 8 Pierre Spies, scrumhalf Francois Hougaard, flyhalf Johan Goosen, centres Jaco Taute and Frans Steyn. Wing JP Pietersen and lock Andries Bekker were not considered because of club commitments in Japan.

 

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