Meyer opts for experience

2014-11-26 00:00

CARDIFF — Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will stay with the tried and trusted when he names his team today to face Wales in Saturday’s Test in Cardiff.

Meyer, looking ahead to the 2015 Rugby World Cup, is determined to end the tour, and the year, on a positive note but the weary Springboks will be severely tested by a fresh, passionate Welsh outfit who will have been buoyed by their showing — for 70 minutes - against the All Blacks last weekend.

The Bok coach will have to make changes with his back three against Italy last Saturday. Johan Goosen, Bryan Habana and JP Pietersen are unavailable because of overseas club commitments. First-choice fullback Willie le Roux, who came off the bench against Italy, and wings Lwazi Mvovo and Cornal Hendricks are ­obvious replacements.

But, for the rest, Meyer will fall back on experience and is unlikely to be swayed by the late impact made by a ­number of replacements against Italy. Meyer has trained this week with the Sharks pair of Pat Lambie and Cobus ­Reinach retaining their ­positions at halfback but he is set to make changes in the front-row, recalling the experienced Beast Mtawarira for Trevor Nyakane at loosehead and Bismarck du Plessis, after two games on the bench, taking over from Adriaan Strauss at hooker.

The injury to tighthead Jannie du Plessis may see Coenie Oosthuizen starting at tighthead again, though there are many who believe that Meyer should start with a specialist scrummager in Julian Redelinghuys.

But Meyer’s most difficult choice is on the flank, where Oupa Mohoje and Nizaam Carr, the Western Province backrower, are in competition. Mohoje adds another lineout option but Carr, who was used as replacement in the final quarter against Italy, adds creativity to the backrow.

— Own Correspondent.

Probable Springbok

starting line-up for Saturday:

Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendriks, Jan Serfontein, Jean de Villiers (captain), Lwazi Mvovo, Pat Lambie, Cobus Reinach, Duane Vermeulen, Nizaam Carr (or Oupa Mohoje), Marcell Coetzee, Victor Matfield, Eben Etzebeth, Coenie Oosthuizen, Bismarck du Plessis and Tendai Mtawarira.

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