Koch's inclusion intensifies Springbok tighthead battle

Vincent Koch (Getty Images)
Vincent Koch (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Vincent Koch has met up with the Springboks in Port Elizabeth and is in the selection mix for Saturday's clash against the Wallabies. 

Koch was added to the squad for the final two matches of the Rugby Championship, and he acknowledged on Tuesday that his call-up came as a surprise. 

Currently playing his rugby out of Saracens in England, Koch's inclusion further bolsters the tighthead stocks at the Boks. 

Frans Malherbe and Wilco Louw have been the two tightheads that coach Rassie Erasmus has backed most throughout the Rugby Championship so far, but the inclusion of Koch makes for an interesting selection dilemma. 

Then there is still Thomas du Toit of the Sharks and Trevor Nyakane, who is nearing a return to full fitness.

"It's a good problem to have. I think the group of tightheads we have at the moment are world class players," Koch said from PE on Tuesday.

"I think any coach of any team would like to have that problem. It's a challenge, but we're all mates and we all just want the best for each other.

"We've got to push each other to the next level because the competition is so good, but that just brings out the best for the player and the for the team as well.

"It's great to be back ... I didn't really expect it. The guys and the coaches have welcomed me with open arms."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05.

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England 121/2 (41.1 ov)
Pakistan 0
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England 121/2 (41.1 ov)
Pakistan 0
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