Saturday’s Test: Louw released to marry PMB lass

2013-06-12 00:00

FLANK Francois Louw will be released from the Springbok squad later this week in preparation for his wedding day and he will not play in Saturday’s Test against Scotland in Nelspruit.

Louw marries Pietermaritzburg’s Sarah Tatham on Sunday and Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer yesterday decided that a wedding should come before a game of rugby.

“This is a very precious time for Francois and Sarah,” said Meyer. “Francois is extremely committed to the Springbok cause and wanted to play in the Test. I wanted to give him the entire week off, but he insisted on training with the squad this week. He will rejoin us in Pretoria on Monday.”

In another change to the squad, uncapped WP scrumhalf Louis Schreuder has been called up in place of the injured Francois Hougaard, who is expected to be sidelined for two weeks with a knee injury.

Coach Heyneke Meyer is unlikely to tamper unnecessarily with the Springbok team by promoting flyhalf Pat Lambie off the bench.

Meyer said last week that Lambie would have his day in the sun during the series but Morné Steyn, composed and controlled, was the flyhalf when the Boks beat Italy 44-10 in Durban and the Bok coach will be reluctant to break the backline continuity.

Meyer, a master at keeping his options open (often in the same sentence), said that he would be making a couple of changes, but keeping the core of the team.

“I want to keep some sort of continuity. We have a great rhythm at the moment and the guys are very positive, so you want to keep that, but you want to bring in a few new players as well.”

He said that the form of the new players against Italy had made changing the side difficult.

“The plan was to give a number of players a chance, but the new players put up their hands and you don’t want to break their continuity and confidence now.

“There won’t be that many changes, but after these three Test matches, we’ll know who to take into the Rugby Championship, and it will be a mixture of form and experience.”

Ruan Pienaar will obviously take over from the injured Jano Vermaak at scrumhalf, while hooker Bismarck du Plessis, after a nine-month break and three club games for Harlequins, could return for the match.

Meyer has also spoken of Willie le Roux having an important role to play as an impact player, which suggests that the Bok coach wants Zane Kirchner back at fullback for the Rugby Championship. But Le Roux showed on debut against Italy that he is more than a running, passing fullback and he certainly offers the team far more than Kirchner.

New from the Scotland camp is that prop Geoff Cross (shoulder) has became the second forward forced out of the tour, joining hooker Pat MacArthur (knee) on the flight home. Flank and captain Kelly Brown is also doubtful and their team will now only be named tomorrow.

The Test kicks off at 5.15 pm with Samoa taking on Italy at 2.15 pm.

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