Two Boks ‘to learn’

2013-11-02 00:00

COACH Heyneke Meyer said yesterday that the two surprise choices in the Springbok squad, hooker Scarra Ntubeni and scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, would spend the tour picking up tackle bags — and experience.

The two young Western Province players were selected ahead of the more experienced Chiliboy Ralepelle and Jano Vermaak, who are both now playing their rugby for French club Toulouse.

Meyer said that Ntubeni and Schreuder were unlikely to be involved in the Tests against Wales, Scotland and France on the tour, adding that the tour would be a “learning curve” for the pair.

“Your third hooker and your third scrumhalf will barely get game time.”

Meyer said that he had told Ntubeni that he was in the Bok squad to learn from the two best hookers in the world (Bismarck du Plessis and Adriaan Strauss).

He also said that he wanted to involve the talented 21-year-old flyhalf Johan Goosen in the squad again, but the Free Stater was also unlikely to see action after recently returning from the latest of a series of injuries.

The Springbok coach said he would be using the tour to test players in European conditions ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup while he would also be trying out new combinations at certain times during the internationals.

“There are a few players knocking on the door and we are building the depth of the squad. We are almost in a position where we have two quality players in each position,” Meyer said ahead of the squad’s departure for Cardiff where the opening Test against Wales will be played next Saturday.

He admitted he was in a Catch 22 situation of wanting to blood young players in strange conditions while attempting to win all three Tests.

“You want to keep continuity and win all three, but you also need these games to see which guys can play in those conditions.”

Meyer said there were no concerns about including 2007 World Cup-winning veterans Bakkies Botha, JP Pietersen and Jaque Fourie in the tour group.

All three are based at overseas clubs, but he said they were high-quality players who were keen to play for the Springboks again and it was logical to select them.

“I believe coaching is overrated. A world-class player is a world-class player and more players make coaches than the other way around.”


November 9: Wales (Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)

November 17: Scotland (Murrayfield, Edinburgh)

November 23: France (Stade de France, Paris)

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