Meyer wary of injuries ahead of Tests

2012-04-19 14:19

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer said he was wary of the toll the Super Rugby derbies could take on Springbok players who could be up for selection for the England tour.

The former Bulls mentor said it was tough to think about picking a team under those circumstances.

“It is frustrating getting the injuries, but I have said to the coaches of the franchises that there is a lot of pressure to perform,” he said.

“I did not ask them to rest players because it is unfair to them (coaches) because they also need to win but I think going forward the planning will be much better. I have got a succession plan in place and I know who will be the next player in,” he said.

Meyer is currently busy with a planning camp with players from the MTN Lions and Toyota Cheetahs, who have byes this weekend.

The next camp, scheduled for next week, will be for Sharks and DHL Stormers players who have their bye next week.

The former Bulls mentor said he was impressed with the fitness levels of the players who were part of the camp, which he said helped them gel a lot more quickly and get used to the Springbok system.

Meyer also said the lack of conditioning with South African rugby players was something that worried him.

“The standard of rugby at this stage is very good and there wasn’t an end-of-year tour, so the players are much more prepared and fresher and are in good condition. Conditioning for me is where we lack but you only see that when you work with the players,” Meyer said.

With the English arriving on May 31, Meyer said he would use the three-Test series, the first one in South Africa since 1996, to set out his plan for the team and for the rugby championship in August. He added that winning the series and blending with his coaching staff was a priority.

“We’ll use the England series as an opportunity to sort out all our plans and playbook. We obviously want to win all three Test matches and go into the Castle Championship (the Tri-Nations – South Africa, Australia and New Zealand).

“I’ve got a great coaching staff, which is why I wanted the guys I know and I can trust because we don’t have the luxury of spending six months working philosophies.” 

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