Springboks

Coetzee looking for massive Bok improvement

Allister Coetzee (Gallo)
Allister Coetzee (Gallo)

Cape Town - Under-fire Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is looking for a massive improvement from his team as they face France in Paris on Saturday.

READ: Pollard starts as Jantjies axed for France Test

After a record 38-3 loss to Ireland, Coetzee made a number of changes to his starting XV, the most significant of which sees Duane Vermeulen starting at No 8, Handre Pollard at flyhalf and Francois Venter at inside centre.

According to Coetzee, the Springboks will be looking to improve significantly on Saturday.

"We have to fight back and play much better after our poor performance against Ireland," said Coetzee on Thursday. 

"France is a much changed and improved side and will certainly pose a different challenge this time. They have a new half back combination and a strong ball carrying midfield, so they’re definitely not the same team we faced in June in South Africa," said Coetzee, who furthermore believes the two big focal points for Saturday will be the battle for set piece dominance and gain line advantage.

"We have to be more accurate at the breakdown, especially with our reaction speed and basic fundamentals. Discipline, as well as our decision-making in tackle situations, are of paramount importance.

"We understand the importance of this match and we have to be at our best in terms of tactics, physicality and mental preparation, in order to confront and match France in front of their passionate supporters," explained Coetzee.

The match has added spice with France beating South Africa to the hosting rights for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Kick-off on Saturday is at 22:00 (SA time).

Teams:

France

15 Nans Ducuing; 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Mathieu Bastareaud, 11 Yoann Huget; 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Antoine Dupont; 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 6 Judicael Cancoriet; 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina; 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot

Substitutes: 16 Clement Maynadier, 17 Sebastien Taofifenua, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Anthony Jelonch, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Damian Penaud

South Africa

15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Wilco Louw 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira 

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi , 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane , 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Dan du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian de Allende

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