Springboks ready for huge French forward onslaught

Johann van Graan (Gallo Images)
Johann van Graan (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Springboks are expecting a huge forward challenge from France on Saturday when the two teams meet in the first of three Test matches in Pretoria, according to Bok assistant coach Johann van Graan.

The forwards coach addressed a media briefing on Tuesday afternoon at the team’s hotel in Pretoria.

Van Graan said he is expecting a tough battle amongst the forwards on Saturday afternoon, when the two teams meet for the first time again since 2013, when South Africa won in Paris.

“If you look at the 2016 set-piece stats, then South Africa and France were No 1 in the world with a 95% success rate,” said Van Graan.

“The French have got a very good scrum and a brilliant lineout, plus they defend the driving maul well. However, we want to concentrate on ourselves, doing the things we have to do.

“We’re fortunate to have a few players who have played in France and who know a bit about them, but as coaches we’ve done our homework and we will be well-prepared on Saturday.”

Van Graan said the Bok’s scrum and lineout work have gone well and highlighted the three training camps and last week’s exercise in Plettenberg Bay as very beneficial to the squad’s preparation.

Meanwhile, the Boks continued with their training on Tuesday. The early morning gym and field session at Affies was followed by an afternoon workout at Loftus Versfeld.

The match on Saturday is scheduled to kick off at 17h05 at Loftus Versfeld.

The Bok coach will announce his team on Thursday afternoon during a media conference at the team hotel.

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