‘France unpredictable, but SA should win’

2013-11-22 00:00

PARIS — Yes, the French are unpredictable. But the winner of tomorrow’s Test between the French and the Springboks at the Stade de France is easy to predict for former Shark Shaun Sowerby — South Africa.

Sowerby, whose only Test for the Boks came on July 6, 2002 against Samoa, is still contracted to French club Grenoble after also playing for Stade Français and Toulouse.

“You never know with the French and the past year’s effort will probably be forgotten if they cause an upset by beating the team who are second in the world rankings,” Sowerby said at a Springbok training session this week.

“That’s sometimes where the French are dangerous, but I can not see how they can beat South Africa. South Africa have a great year behind them and should win easily.”

France have won only two of their 10 games this year — against Scotland in the Six Nations and against Tonga last weekend. They have lost seven (four of them in New Zealand) with a draw against Ireland.

Sowerby attributes this poor performance largely to the rebuilding process that the French are currently going through.

“They had more guys like Dimitri Yachvili, Imanol Harinordoquy and Julien Bonnaire. Such a rebuilding process is difficult to manage and the French are unsure of what their strongest team is,” he said.

“It’s not a case of not having good players. There is a lot of depth and French clubs are doing well in Europe.”

Sowerby believes South Africa’s biggest challenge will be to tame the French up front.

“The French’s strength has always been their forwards. They are technically sound in the scrum, lineout and in their driving. It can become uncomfortable if they are accurate in those facets.”

He is confident that the team are well on track under Heyneke Meyer’s coaching.

“The Springboks played very well last year and I think they will just get better. Everything looks good — and the World Cup in 2015 is around the corner.”

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