Bok cap for Adriaanse

2013-08-20 00:00

SPRINGBOK coach Heyneke Meyer yesterday defended his decision to discipline Free State prop Trevor Nyakane and drop him from the Springbok squad.

In a media briefing shortly after arriving in Buenos Aires, Meyer emphasised that he was “not cross” with Nyakane, but he had been left with little choice after the prop had “repeatedly” broken team protocols by missing flights and a video session.

“I initially wanted to keep this out of the media but, really, Trevor has to learn from something like this. It is part of the learning curve. He will be back, I know that, but it will take time.”

Meyer has replaced Nyakane with uncapped Lourens Adriaanse in his 26-man touring squad. The Griquas prop, who will play for the Sharks next year, joined the squad yesterday afternoon.

Meyer said that a calf strain suffered by Springbok tighthead Jannie du Plessis had also been a factor in naming Adriaanse as a replacement.

Du Plessis left the field after 50 minutes of the Test against Argentina at Soccer City and was replaced by Coenie Oosthuizen.

Team doctor Craig Roberts said that the decision to replace Du Plessis had been precautionary.

“Jannie will be ready for Saturday’s Test [in Mendoza],” Roberts said.

Flank Francois Louw is also believed to be suffering a minor injury. This resulted in Sharks flank Marcell Coetzee travelling with the squad.

Meyer said he was delighted with the quality of the Springbok scrummaging, their lineout work and the impact his replacement bench had made in the final quarter.

“That was the idea, to up the tempo in the final quarter when we thought the Pumas would be tiring. It all worked well on the day.”

Meyer said that the Boks now faced five finals if they wanted to win the Rugby Championship.

“We are taking it game by game and it won’t be easy. We are the only team that will play three away games in a row [against Argentina, Australia and New Zealand]. But we are not looking further ahead than Saturday and the Pumas. That is our focus.”

Meyer said the team needed to “stay humble”.

“It was a clinical performance and that was pleasing. But Saturday will be war,” coach Meyer said.

“We need to up the tempo there, but I have a lot of confidence in this team. The great thing about this team is that we are growing and we had a massive contribution from players off the bench.”

Bok number eight Duane Vermeulen agreed.

“This week is different. A different crowd, a different field,” he said. “We can still improve a lot, even though we set a standard [on Saturday]. Big and strong opponents await us, and to play away from home will be tougher.”

Saturday’s Test in Mendoza kicks off at 9.10 pm.

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