Springboks

Coetzee has NO plans to experiment against Italy

Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)
Allister Coetzee (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee has no plans of giving fringe squad members a run against Italy in Padova on Saturday.

READ: Italy: Boks MUST have guts to experiment

The South Africans got back to winning ways with a narrow 18-17 win over France in Paris at the weekend and Coetzee is eager to keep the winning momentum going.

Coetzee’s Boks lost 20-18 to Italy in Florence last year and the Bok mentor wants to make sure he avoids a similar embarrassment.

He addressed media in Italy on Monday when he said he would attempt to pick his best available team.

Coetzee said the following week's Test against Wales in Cardiff (December 2) - which falls outside World Rugby's Test window - would provide a chance for other squad members.

“What the team needs is to build better momentum. There will be opportunities in the last game because it falls outside the Test window. Four players won’t part of that - Duane (Vermeulen), Francois (Louw), Elton Jantjies and Franco Mostert. So we will be giving opportunities then (against Wales)... but this weekend is an opportunity to build momentum and make sure we get another successful result,” Coetzee said.

Meanwhile, Coetzee said he was expecting captain Eben Etzebeth to be fit and ready for Saturday's Test against Italy.

Etzebeth left the field just past the hour mark during the win over France with what was later confirmed as a lower leg knock.

But the word coming out of the Bok camp on Monday was that the towering lock is expected to have recovered in time to take on the Italians.

There is doubt, however, over the availability of hooker Malcolm Marx, who picked up a shoulder injury in the win over France.

Marx had an X-ray on Sunday but he was due to go for further scans on Monday.

A call on his availability will be made later in the week.

Meanwhile, utility forward Pieter-Steph du Toit is expected to have recovered from the mild concussion that ruled him out of the Paris clash in time for Saturday.

Coetzee was especially pleased to have Du Toit back in training: “It’s great to have Pieter-Steph back because he was excellent for us prior to the concussion.

“The whole idea for us this week is to play with our strongest possible team so that we can build more momentum and continuity.

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