Cape Town - Springbok coach Allister Coetzee is hoping to see an improvement in the team’s defence when they tackle the Barbarians at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
The Boks struggled on defence this year, with the team conceding 22 tries in six Rugby Championship matches, including nine in their final match against New Zealand in Durban.
Lions defence guru JP Ferreira has since been added to the coaching staff for the year-end tour to Europe, which also includes matches against England (London, November 12), Italy (Florence, November 19) and Wales (Cardiff, November 26.)
“Our defence was not good in the Rugby Championship and we paid a lot of attention to it. The match against the Barbarians will be a good test to see how far we’ve come in terms of our defensive structures,” Coetzee was quoted as saying by Netwerk24.
“The team has been together now for almost two weeks and I’m impressed with our progress. Until now, we’ve been steady in the set pieces. We scrummed well during the Rugby Championship and were very good in the lineouts. It’s an area where we need to put pressure on the Barbarians.”
Coetzee will name his team later on Thursday.
15 Melani Nanai (Blues), 14 Matt Faddes (Highlanders), 13 Seta Tamanivalu (Crusaders & New Zealand), 12 Richard Buckman (Highlanders & Panasonic), 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro (Waratahs, Panasonic & Australia), 10 Robert du Preez (Stormers), 9 Andy Ellis (Crusaders, Kobelco Steelers & New Zealand), 1 Reggie Goodes (Hurricanes), 2 Akker van der Merwe (Lions), 3 Paddy Ryan (Waratahs & Australia), 4 Martin Muller (Lions), 5 Michael Fatialofa (Hurricanes), 6 Brad Shields (Hurricanes), 7 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders), 8 Luke Whitelock (Highlanders & New Zealand)
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Ready (Reds), 17 Schalk van der Merwe (Montpellier), 18 Toby Smith (Rebels & Australia), 19 Sam Carter, (Brumbies & Australia), 20 Ruan Ackermann (Lions), 21 Nic Stirzaker (Rebels), 22 Richard Mo’unga (Crusaders), 23 Luke Morahan (Force & Australia)