Meyer: Pienaar deserves spot

Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)
Heyneke Meyer (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer says Ruan Pienaar deserves to start at scrumhalf ahead of Fourie du Preez against Argentina on Saturday.

Meyer recently drafted Du Preez into his squad for the home leg of the Rugby Championship and it came as a bit of a surprise when the veteran scrumhalf was not included in the starting team.

Du Preez, who plays for Japanese club, Suntory Sungoliath, won't be available for away games in the tournament which gives Meyer little time to see how he fits into his plans.

But Meyer said current scrumhalf incumbent Pienaar deserved to stay at the helm for Saturday's Test at the FNB Stadium. He did, however, state that Du Preez will be given enough game time.

"It would be unfair to expect Fourie to just slot in so suddenly," Meyer told the Beeld website.

"But he will get enough game time off the substitutes bench. I know it can sometimes be risky to replace your scrumhalf, because if the substitute gets injured, he can't come back on.

"However, I have a lot of faith in both scrumhalves in the squad and it's reassuring to have so many experienced players at my disposal.

"I feel we are settling nicely as a group and we must now take our game to the next level.

"The Rugby Championship, and the team who we will now be facing, are definitely of a higher quality than we've experience so far this year," said Meyer.

Saturday's clash kicks off at 15:00.

Teams:

South Africa:

15. Willie le Roux, 14 Bjorn Basson, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Juandré Kruger, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes 16 Bismarck du Plessis, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Flip van der Merwe, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Fourie du Preez, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Jan Serfontein

Argentina:

15. Juan Martin Hernandez, 14. Gonzalo Camacho, 13. Marcelo Bosch, 12. Felipe Contepomi (captain), 11. Juan Imhoff, 10. Nicolas Sanchez, 9. Martin Landajo, 8. Leonardo Senatore, 7. Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 6. Pablo Matera, 5. Patricio Albacete, 4. Manuel Carizza, 3. Matias Diaz, 2. Eusebio Guinazu, 1. Juan Figallo

Substitutes: 16. Agustin Creevy, 17. Nahuel Lobo, 18. Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19. Mariano Galarza, 20. Julio Farias Cabello, 21. Tomas Cubelli, 22. Santiago Fernandez, 23. Horacio Agulla
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