This is how Bok coach Heyneke Meyer summed up yesterday’s inclusion of Du Preez in the starting line-up for Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test at Newlands.
“Fourie has been great not only in organising defence, but also keeping the players calm,” said Meyer yesterday. “It’s also not just about his kicking game, but the way he puts players into space. He’ll take us to the next level.”
Du Preez replaces Ruan Pienaar, while at hooker Adriaan Strauss starts ahead of Bismarck du Plessis who had been red-carded in the previous Test against the All Blacks.
“I want to make it clear that these players haven’t been dropped, I spoke to them beforehand,” said Meyer. “A win this weekend will be nice, but a great win will be awesome.”
The Bok coach said the No 2 and No 9 positions were the most attacked by opposition and that’s why it was vital to rotate them to keep players fresh.
“I told Adriaan a while ago he will start this Test and I will tell you now Bismarck will start next weekend against the All Blacks,” said Meyer.
Prop Jannie du Plessis and flyhalf Morne Steyn will both play in their 50th Test matches and Meyer said the more experienced the team became, the more it would benefit the side.
“Jannie is one of the guys who made the most clean-outs at the ruck last week and while our scrums weren’t great last year, we’ve seen a massive improvement. I’m really happy for Morne and hope he’ll play another 50 Tests for his country, he might not be the most talented, but his work ethic is unmatched,” said Meyer.